Facebook break up: Here’s to the dystopian future of dumping

Facebook is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Or until you realise that the company may not be completely in agreement with EU data privacy law. But yes, breaking up is hard, and cutesy updates stored on the social network can quickly become a noose to strangle yourself with when relationships turn sour.

Aware that romantic relationships were very much a part of Facebook’s original raison d’être, Mark Zuckerberg and co. have taken steps to smear a digital balm over being dumped. The company announced yesterday that it’s testing a new set of tools that figuratively muffle a pillow over the mouth, eyes and ears of your ex-lover.

With the new features, when a user changes their relationship status they will be prompted with an option to “Take a Break”. Facebook says this means you’ll “see less of a former partner’s name and profile picture around Facebook without having to unfriend or block them. Their posts won’t show up in News Feed and their name won’t be suggested when people write a new message or tag friends in photos.”

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Essentially, the tools (currently being trialled in the US on mobile) let you change what your ex can see without them being aware that you’ve done anything. With this in mind, here are five ways other tech companies can up the game when it comes to gagging painful human contact.

Twitter: Your ex’s account is replaced with a convincing bot

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Twitter steps in and swaps your ex’s account for a bot replica. The bot looks and sounds like your ex, but the tweets are innocuously beige – only about tube delays – nothing capable of reminding you that your ex was a person with thoughts and opinions.

Instagram: All of your ex’s pictures are Belgian landscapes

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No more selfies or pictures of holidays with new partners. No. After you’ve told Instagram you’ve broken up, all of your ex’s pictures will be pictures of flat, non-specific Belgian landscapes.

Google Maps: All traces of your ex are erased from the map

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You’ve broken up. You tell Google Maps. It kindly replaces your ex’s house with a small park. No one ever goes there.

Ebay: All memory-triggering possessions are sold

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That scarf you got as a Christmas present? Gone. Give the signal to eBay and a van will come around before teatime and remove anything with any association of your ex. The items will be sold and repurposed. Your flat will be emptier, but your mind will be clearer.

Gumtree: A person will come over and literally smother your face with a pillow

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Facebook’s new tools might figuratively muffle communication between you and your ex, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Go on Gumtree and you’ll find someone to come to your home and, in a very literal sense, cover your face with a pillow. You can scream and cry all your want, and you’ll never have to worry about hearing from you ex.   

Next: Check out our Bad Sex Awards for Games.

Images: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Creative Commons – jucanils, Marc Lacoste, miguelpdl

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