There once was a time when the hardest part of breaking up was getting back your stuff (yes, that's a 2GETHER reference). Now, some would say that handling your social-media connections with your ex is today's version of "I can't find my cat." A new study from the Facebook Data Science team shows that there's a real change in the way you hit the 'book right after a breakup. And, as The Atlantic's James Hamblin notes, since 1.3 billion people are on the social-media site, Facebook has become a pretty good indicator of human behavior.
The team reviewed data from people on the "receiving end of a separation," as in they were in a Facebook relationship with someone for at least four weeks, and that someone terminated the relationship. Ouch. And, by "in a relationship," they mean the people in question had elected to announce it with an actual status change on their profile. This also included people who were engaged, married, or in a domestic partnership.
The researchers looked at the Facebook activity and how it changed immediately before and after the breakup. The study measured how many messages were sent and received, how many timeline posts were made and received, and the number of comments those posts got.
The result? They saw more than 225% increase in the "average volume of interactions." The team says this indicates the brokenhearted are getting support from friends when they really need it. They also say it could mean that people are simply withdrawing into a smaller social circle after a breakup, taking advantage of the human connection Facebook can offer. But, we can't help but attribute some of that behavior to people who are just plain nosy about what's happening in your love life. (The Atlantic)