MySpace: A Forum for Very Public Breakups

Ever wished you could make an ex simply vanish? Danah Boyd, a grad student at UC Berkeley’s School of Information, reported last week at CNET’s Etech conference that kids these days are using MySpace to do just that. How? The instigator publicizes a breakup in the comments section of his/her ex’s page, and then drop the ex as a friend, which automatically zaps every comment the ex has ever left on the breakup artist’s own page.

On Boyd’s engrossing time-suck of a blog, she illustrates this with a vivid example:

When I met Michael (17) and Amy (16), they were together. Their relationship was also visible on both of their profiles. Amy wrote about how Michael “has my heart” and Michael’s profile photo was of the couple embracing. His About Me section began with “I love my girlfriend AMY.”…

A week later, Michael’s profile proclaimed “I hate my stupid bitch ex girlfriend.” His headline had also been changed to: “Michael is no longer fucking with stupid bitches.” The photos were gone, the friendship deleted, and the comments erased. Amy had also obliterated the relationship throughout her profile. He was removed from her friend list and from her list of guys whom she called heroes. What appeared in the place of his name was “boyfriend” with a link to a new boy: Scott.

And you thought your high school break-up was rough!

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