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How Facebook Complicates Romance

• Jeremy Hsu via LiveScience
Lovers still see a face-to-face encounter as the ideal way to break up their relationship in the complicated age of Facebook and cell phones, according to a researcher's interviews with college students and middle-age adults.

Such widespread agreement on breakup etiquette stood out in the midst of social complications and confusion described in a new book, "The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media" (Cornell University Press, July 2010). But far fewer people seem to practice what they ask for – just one complication among many in today's relationships.

"I got really interested in the fact that all this technology is designed to connect with people, yet people [are] constantly dealing with the problem of how to disconnect," said Ilana Gershon, an assistant professor of communication and culture at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Social networking and mobile technologies have leapt far beyond the early Internet days of "You've got mail!" Gershon found digital breakups also have evolved over time. For instance, the group of 67 undergraduate students interviewed by Gershon produced very few stories of breakups done by e-mail, and most such breakups were linked to the very small handful of adult interviewees between the ages of 30 and 50.

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