You Broke Up with My MySpace Page?!
I had someone break up with me by email before, but she was 6000 miles away and couldn't wait for the time zones to align. This is the next level, though: Posting the end of your relationship on your soon-to-be-former paramour's social networking page.
Yes, the latest thing to do is to break up with your beau on his or her MySpace page. It is a far cry from the heady days we at El Reg can remember, when people would break up with each other by text message. So cosy, so personal. So old hat.
Danah Boyd, a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley, is studying online teen behaviour. She says teenagers are now all too aware that any kind of recorded message can be manipulated to mean something beyond its original intent. They also know that people can lie about private conversations, and so choose to break up in public so everyone knows their side of the story.
Boyd writes: "By breaking up through MySpace comments, the heartbreaker is attempting to assert their view for everyone else to see so that they cannot be accused of saying something else in private."
The private is now public: the dark side of Web 2.0.