New technology Breakup Etiquette

  ” Gershon says, that made her realize we are still in the early, Wild West days of digital etiquette, especially when it comes to using these technologies to navigate our romantic relationships. What is ok to us and our group of friends might be unacceptable elsewhere, because nothing has been standardized or codified.”- quote from article (Robin Amer)

       As the digital age is now among us, new technologies have arisen that may lack certain etiquitte. Prior to the widespread use of technology, communication was limited to face to face conversations. The new found use of texting, instant messaging, and skype allow avenues of communications which were once absent. When the telephone was first created there was a debate to determine what would be the most appropiate way to answer the phone. The two options were ‘hello’, or ‘ahoy’.

       With all these avenues of communication derived from the digital era, the question arises, which outlet would be most appropiate for breaking up with a partner. An anthrologists seeked to answer this question by interviewing 72 students and finding out their commuication habits and break up stragegies. While beginning her interviews, anthropologist Illana Gershon made an interesting point that our generation has terminated the dating process completely. She asked many of her students, “What is you ideal date” many of the answers she received came from students who have in fact, never been on a date. Instead they were responding with social constructs of what a date should be and their thoughts on how a date should go.  

      Gershon would ask her students questions like,”Once a relationship has been deemed “facebook official”, who is responsible for changing that status after a breakup?” The problem with this question is, there has been no set code to follow in regards to digital etiquette. Is is the person who initiated the breakup or the person getting broken up with? Another question asked was what outlet would be best used to deliver the message of the breakup. Well this would all depend on our intentions. Thankfully, our new technology has allowed options. Do you want to just let it all out with no chance for reply via IM, email, or text message. This option leaves no room for rebuttal, which can be good if you want to avoid a reaction you wouldn’t be able to handle. Some people prefer telephone breakups while others think there is no better option than face to face.

   Gershon explains, “standardization doesn’t just happen, it has to be forced.” This is apprearant in her interviews as she discovers, there is no one right way to initiate a breakup. I beleive it all has to do with your purpose and the outcome you want to happen. I am curious to see how people will conform to right and wrong ways to communicate via digital technoligies. Also, I am curious to see how these ways could change overtime as a result of social acceptance.


About dt3d

Darrisaw's professional experience includes Summer Internships and Upper level education. She is Hard working, determined, can multi-task, and simply love staying busy. She is extremely reliable and confident in her fields of study. Her writing skills are excellent; futhermore, she has won numerous awards as a result of writing and have also received the Northern Virginia Scholastic Acheivement Award for her academic studies. Her Goals are to excel in any field she is in, considering she is double majoring in two broad subjects, which are Criminal Justice/ Communications. Although she is also majoring in Criminal Justice, her primary focus is advancing in the field of Communications, to further her career in the Mass Communications field, whether being print, television, film, etc.
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5 Responses to New technology Breakup Etiquette

  1. I think the key to understanding social media is not to think of each independent niche of it, from Facebook to Twitter or whatever, as standing on its own. We’re all enmeshed in webs of communication, there’s so many different ways we can keep in touch with one another. I’m not saying that people never break-up over text, but I find it hard to believe that then that’s the end of the story. The whole breaking up process is going to play out over multiple formats.

    • dt3d says:

      I completely agree, I hadn’t looked at it that way before. But now that I think about it my last breakup involved text messages, missed phone calls, blocked twitter accounts, Facebook status changes, etc. And although we have broken up we still remain in touch— due to various media outlets of course.

  2. cwils062 says:

    I think the correct way to communicate a break up with someone is face to face. People who use digital devices to orchestrate a break up is afraid to confront that person in the physical sense because they are not sure of what the conseqence could be. Face to face break up could lead to violence if the person being dumped has a temer or just gets very irrate and angry. People who uses digital ways use them because they might feel this break up is clear cut because they do not have to deal with the person’s questions and the wanting of trying to reconcile the relationship.

  3. jraez says:

    I think this issue of breaking up has become more complicated in some ways but easier in others. It’s more complicated because you have so many connections through media. Even after you break up, it is likely that you will still see pictures and updates from the person. But it can be easier because once it is posted many people will see it and won’t have to wonder. Maybe that can save you from a few awkward questions from more distant friends. There is no question that it is a lot harder to cut off connection with a person after a break up because of all of the social networking connections.

  4. callyia says:

    When I was in high school it seemed like most of my relationships had a heavy influence with technology, most of the conversations were over text message or chatting online even though we lived close enough to each other to just go and see one another. In those instances we broke up over text message and it just felt very impersonal but I can certainly understand why they chose to do it that way because it’s like ripping off a band aid.

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