With every new technological lunge forward comes a new method of breaking up.
With every new technological lunge forward comes a new method of breaking up. And with Valentine's Day right around the corner, what better time to talk about lovers — young and old — and the dumping thereof?
In ancient times, Paul Simon sang about "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." Now, in addition to slipping out the back, Jack, or making a new plan, Stan, there are at least seven more ways to ditch someone in the 21st century:
1. Twitter: Blogger Francis Anderson suggests possible Twitter breakup scenarios in 140 characters or less: "let me know when u will be gone for a few hours tomorrow and I will collect my things. i don't feel much like seeing u."
2. Video: LiveVideo.com posts The Break-Up Poem, a video that illustrates the art of saying goodbye through various poetry styles – sonnet, haiku, free verse, ballad. A sample: "I live in the Valley, you live in O.C. / I've prepaid three months on eHarmony."
3. Quiz: The Brit-centric social network Bebo offers the "Are You Ready to Break Up?" quiz. There are four simple questions: 1. How well would you say you know him? 2. Do you love him? 3. Do you talk much? (a. Ermm ... Hello? b. Yes. Basically every minute of every day. c. Kind of!) 4. Have you thought of breaking up? You can suggest that you take the quiz together. Or you can just send the poor bloke the URL, hint hint.
4. Facebook status: Video blogger Sandra Soroka, Prince Harry and others have had public fallings out with their sig o's via their Facebook status updates. For last Valentine's Day, Samuel Pinney wrote in the London Telegraph about the three stages of a Facebook breakup. First, he knew he was about to get shafted when he read messages on his girlfriend's Facebook wall. "Good luck with tonight" a friend wrote. "I hope it's for the best." Then his girlfriend changed her status to single. Then came all the daggerlike congratulatory messages. Again, on her wall.
5. e-Cards: You Capture My Heart offers a half-dozen or so e-cards specifically created for breaking up. For instance: "I'm not going to let you hurt me anymore... I've shed my last tear... It's over!!!"
6. Ringtones: For little or no money, you can send a very pointed musical message to your de-loved. "Time to Break Up" by Blink 182 and "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds Five come to mind. Or, for the older technoid, "It's All Over Now," as sung by the Rolling Stones.
7. Power off: The best way to break up, writes Courtney Mizak on Collegeweb.com, is to "cut off all ties. Facebook and IM are evil in these types of situation. Although the immediate pain seems worse, it will be shorter lived. Future relationships will be better for it, and so will you."
In other words, be strong and erase the memories from the hard drive altogether. Even with the latest gadgets, breaking up is still hard to do.
P.S.: We asked readers if they wanted to share any creative breakup stories (digital or otherwise) in the Comments section below. That section is now closed to new comments, but you can read what others had to say.