Face It, Don’t Facebook It: Mature 21st-Century Break-Ups


As if you didn’t already know that Facebook is completely ruling our social lives, the Boston Public Health Commission sponsored a one-day conference a few years ago for 200 teenagers focused on healthy breakups in the world of this powerful social networking tool.

Teens and their parents attended workshops like:

“Breaking Up is Hard To Do: Ten Tips for Supporting Your Teen” – A tool for adults to assess their skills around talking to/helping teens through break-ups

“Healthy Relationship Quiz” – A tool to help teens determine if they are in a relationship that they want to stay in

“U R Breaking Up” – A tool that uses the cell phone reception bars to help teens think about the best way to be heard/have maximum reception during a break-up

“What Apps Will You Choose?” – A tool that uses common cell phone applications to help teens think about their technology choices when going through a break-up

Teens were challenged to define healthy and unhealthy breakup actions. Posting mean or embarrassing Facebook statuses about an ex was deemed unhealthy, of course, while rushing into a new “Facebook official” relationship was also considered unhealthy.

While the majority of participants were responsive to the messaging (only one eye roll was seen), one teenager was quoted in a New York Times Magazine article as saying: “Who needs the drama? I’ve got enough problems without some stupid boy breaking up with me on Facebook.”


Even as adults, we encounter questionable breakup activity. Perhaps a relationship was ended by an impersonal text message or even worse, you knew the relationship was over only after seeing “single” flash across your news feed next to your then-significant other’s name.

Through years of dating and relationships, we learn that sometimes messy break-ups are necessary and that you have to be adult enough to ask, “So, what are we?” even when it’s awkward and unnerving.

We have to be an example for the younger generations and show that within healthy breakups, you must “Face it, not Facebook it.”



  1. Brian-906925 June 15, 2013 Reply

    As if you didn’t already know that Facebook is completely ruling our social lives –

    It has a huge impact in many lives, and it’s only the prototype of things to come. Teenage or adults, to relationships of any kind, and how it’s now becoming more commercial, we are losing our privacy voluntarily, at the same time though, able to connect to other human beings, influence each other and using it to spread the gospel, now and into the future, it can be used as a tool for good in the process. They key here is to not live on it, as too many people do, it has a very empty feel to it overall and not at all remotely close to satisfying the human equation of direct interaction. Face to face, and this as opposed to talking over a device, texting, anything internet related, is the way to go when it comes to relationships in general. Yet they are good for breaking the ice in all venues as long as one doesn’t remain in those baby phases, else it morfs into something more fantasy the real and that is very unhealthy.

    • Elena-1001912 August 29, 2013 Reply

      Brian, I couldn’t agree more! Even Catholic Match suffers from this very problem. I was a member way back in the days when it was St. Raphael’s, and couldn’t get an F2F date to save my life. After only one date, I gave up my membership and started doing Cupid speed dating in Boston. That was much better! I’m back again, and hoping to make friends and get dates. Recently gave up my Facebook account, too. I mainly used it as a tool for staying “in touch” with old friends, but the algorithmic brutality was more than I could handle.

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