Codebreaker

Splitting up will never be the same

Adriene Hill Jun 15, 2012

Neil Sedaka was right.  Breakin’ up is hard to do.  And not just because it’s really sad.  The NYTimes has an interesting article on all the ways social networking has changed the dynamics of family estrangements.  

Not long ago, estrangements between family members, for all the anguish they can cause, could mean a fairly clean break. People would cut off contact, never to be heard from again unless they reconciled.  But in a social network world, estrangement is being redefined, with new complications. Relatives can get vivid glimpses of one another’s lives through Facebook updates, Twitter feeds and Instagram pictures of a grandchild or a wedding rehearsal dinner. And those glimpses are often painful reminders of what they have lost.

Social media has shifted the whole “I never want to see you again” promise/threat.  And not just with estrangements. No doubt college break-ups are harder to stomach–when pics of your ex keep showing up in the feeds of your mutual friends.  How is all the constant exposure to the past, which social media provides, changing us as people?  And do Facebook rights ever get negotiated as part of divorce settlements?  

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.