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Facebook has fascinating theory on romantic breakups

By Catholic Online
November 2nd, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Facebook is the premiere social networking site that is literally into everybody's business - marital and/or relationship status, employment, education, you name it. It stands to follow that a database that tracks when people hookup, break up and make up would have a relevant chart showing the ups and downs of romantic love. A graphic making the rounds online uses Facebook status updates to chart what time of year people are splitting up.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - British journalist and graphic designer David McCandless compiled the chart. He showed off the graphic at a TED conference last July in Oxford, England. McCandless said he and a colleague scraped 10,000 Facebook status updates for the phrases "breakup" and "broken up."

His researchers found two big spikes on the calendar for breakups. The first was after Valentine's Day, that holiday has a way of defining relationships, for better or worse and in the weeks leading up to spring break. Maybe spring fever makes people restless, or maybe college students just don't want to be tied down when they're partying in Cancun.

It seems that the other big romantically treacherous time, according to their findings, is about two weeks before Christmas, the time presumably when people begin pricing gifts for their significant others.

Mondays, as if they weren't bad enough, are the most likely day to break up. Summer and fall look like the safest seasons.

As proof that some people's sense of humor is more twisted than others, there's also a spike in breakups on April Fool's Day.

What single day are you least likely to get a "Dear John (or Jane)" letter?

"Christmas Day," McCandless said. "Who would do that?"

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