For those of you thinking that Facebook is just another time-sapping vacuum for the proficient procrastinator, think again. Our dear social networking friend is currently being used to identify social trends, the latest being the most common times of year during which people experience a break-up.
London-based author David McCandless compiled and analyzed the annual data from over 10,000 Facebook updates to identify the most common times people end their relationships. And I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty sure he took all of his data from my status updates alone, which singlehandedly span far greater than 10,000 breakups.
McCandless discovered three peak breakup times throughout the year: prior to spring break (of course —- who wants to date somebody in April —- SO restricting), right before the summer holidays begin (obviously —- sharing a sunny day at the beach with your loved one —- SO lame), and several weeks before Christmas (undoubtedly —- if you haven’t been naughty, Santa will bring you everything you need anyway).
You might be wondering just how this information can help you. Well, if you’re half of a couple, and you notice one of these peak break-up times approaching, you can salvage your relationship by cutting off all communication with your partner, thereby obviating the possibility of a breakup. Being that a breakup requires the successful transmission of dire news from one party to the other, shutting down your computer, turning off your cell phone, and avoiding face-to-face interactions with your partner at all costs will ensure the continuation of your solid relationship without interruption. Once the peak break-up time passes, you can turn your phone and computer back on and resume contact with your partner, confident that you’ve avoided danger and that you’ll stay together forever, or until several weeks before Christmas.
And while I’d like to credit myself for deriving this ingenious data-driven plan for relationship success, please remember that I couldn’t have done it without the help of relationship status updates (that crucial component of a breakup that publicizes it for all to see, without which you might forget that you just ended your relationship) from which McCandless derived his statistics. So, thank you Facebook*.
*Facebook: Bringing People Who Shouldn’t Be Together, Together, for Longer Than Necessary.