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