33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

Summary: How important is Facebook when it comes to relationships? Apparently very important: it's used when they first meet, for scheduling the first date, making their status official, all the way to the breakup.


33 percent of social network users have broken up with their significant others over Facebook, text message, or e-mail. It's a little saddening to learn that so many people opt to use a few keystrokes to dismiss their loved ones rather than talking to them face-to-face, but apparently that's where the world is heading.

The findings come from Lat42, a market research company that conducted a survey by asking personal relationship questions to 550 individuals aged 18+ between October 27 and October 30. Although the data is limited to social network users, which definitely skews it a bit, the age bracket is important: it excludes all the pre-teens and tweens you might expect to tilt the scales the other way.

When it comes to relationships, Facebook's role continues to grow. It all starts right from the first encounter: 57 percent of people who meet someone they're interested in quickly send them a Facebook friend request.

From there, 24 percent say they are most likely to ask someone on a first date via Facebook, more than any other form of communication apart from in-person (42 percent). Furthermore, some 45 percent of loving couples communicate primarily by Facebook message, after calling (67 percent) and texting (65 percent).

The Facebook relationship status is also quite telling. 38 percent change it immediately when they make it official, while 52 percent change it immediately after the breakup. No matter how you slice it, that's pretty rough.

I use Facebook on a daily basis, but when my girlfriend and I made our relationship official, she told me she didn't want it posted on the social network. We do, however, use Facebook infrequently for sharing links. What about you?

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: 33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

    I'm forever alone. *feelsbadman.jpg*
  • RE: 33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

    LOL... so ~50% say they've been cheated on, but only ~30% admit to cheating?

    Somebody's lying.

    And, I bet Facebook could dig through their archives and prove who they are!

    Maybe that could be another revenue stream for Facebook? To charge users for notifications when their spouse engages with another person? jus a thought
    • Or the other option.


      There are those that naturally cheat and they are in and out of more relationships.
  • RE: 33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

  • RE: 33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

    In my world, breaking up a romantic relationship face-to-face is the only way to prove that you were worthy of dating in the first place.
  • RE: 33% have broken up by Facebook, text, or e-mail (infographic)

    I noticed that discrepancy between the cheaters and cheated on too - it makes sense, as those who cheat would probably be in and out of more relationships.

    I noticed something else though... I realize this study was intended to call attention to the role of social networks in relationships, but still, for the question "how do you communicate with your partner?", why are the Facebook services listed separately? FB chat is essentially just another IM service (and they don't differentiate among the other IM services, i.e. AIM, ICQ, GChat, etc.), and FB messaging is essentially just another e-mail service. Most importantly, why isn't face-to-face conversation listed as a mode of communication? I'm far from old, and that's still my preferred mode of communication... my girlfriend and I just use IM/texting to faciliate face-to-face meetings.

    Finally, breakups should always be face-to-face. My first girlfriend always said you owe it to your significant other to take the fallout in person, and I agree. Then she broke up with me over the phone after she entered into a new relationship and lied to me about the reason. Suffice it to say, I won't be subjecting anyone I care about to that lack of consideration...