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Facebook’s found the silver lining to break-ups

07 Sep 2015
Tipo Headshot


amaysim's content guy

I think we can all agree that break-ups suck. But Facebook research seems to have found the silver lining.

In the age of social media it can be tempting to hit refresh a few (hundred) times on your ex’s Facebook profile to see if they’re just as torn up as you, or if they’re carrying on like they’re in a Corona ad (beach, babes and big…smiles).

The Facebook Data Science Team reviewed data from “people who were on the receiving end of a separation” and looked at how their interactions on Facebook changed before and after the breakup. What they found was that in the lead-up to the relationship developing, (potential) partners showed a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts - on each other’s walls - 100 days out from the start of a relationship. When the Relationship Status officially changed to ‘In a relationship’, the posts start to decrease. Let’s be honest - when you’re into someone you visit each other’s profile, send messages and post links or inside jokes on each other’s timeline (and probably have your other Facebook mates gossiping in overdrive about your oh-so-obvious online advances). Once you’ve changed your relationship status to ‘in a relationship’ and declared yourself off the market chances are you’re spending heaps of time together so more of your communicating’s done in person.


So what happens when you break up?

The Facebook Team found a steady baseline of activity (aka nothing out of the ordinary) leading up to the day the relationship status changes (from ‘in a relationship’ back to ‘single’), followed by a colossal spike in Facebook interactions on the day of the breakup. The Facebook Team concluded “This points towards people receiving support from their friends in times where they need it … whether it comes in the form of private messages, timeline posts or comments.”

While you might be nursing a broken heart, you’ve never been more popular on social media. So if you happen to have a phone plan with unlimited calls and texts why not drop some supportive mates a line? If this study's taught us anything it's that you can always count on your social media mates to be there. Do you reckon Facebook’s on the money with its stats or have you seen more interaction before a break-up? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Cheers, Tipo - amaysim's content guy