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Facebook makes its best effort at being a shoulder to cry on post-breakup
Anyone who has ever gone through a ‘Facebook official’ breakup understands that the current algorithm Facebook uses automatically shuffles all of your ex’s posts to the very top of your feed, bolds their name every time it occurs, and plays “Hurt” by Johnny Cash each time you log on.
Okay, some of that might be a matter of perception. Nevertheless, it sure seems like going through a breakup in the digital age basically guarantees that you’re soon to be bombarded by images of your ex having the time of their life. Facebook is looking to ease this transition.
Facebook Product Manager Kelly Winters made a post to the Facebook newsroom site explaining the changes. The way it works is that, after you change your relationship status from “In a relationship” to “single,” you’ll be presented with a kind of breakup navigation module. Facebook will ask you a series of questions and give you a handful of options to give you more control over how much you see of your ex.
You can choose to hide your ex’s posts from yourself, and when you go to tag someone, their name won’t appear in the list of suggestions. It works the other way too. You can arrange it so that your former lover sees less of you as well.
There are a few other options as well. These changes don’t completely block your ex and are temporary, allowing you to gradually come back around to being cool with each other. This is interesting to me, because it means that someone somewhere must have been tasked with coming up with some formula to approximate post-breakup healing time.
Facebook is rolling this feature out to US mobile apps, and based on how well it’s received, they’re planning on expanding it from there.