Facebook Can Predict Your Break Up

Yesterday I went to a confidential presentation of data visualization tools developed by a major media organization in New York. It’s scary just how much these organizations (among others) can learn about their “users” using these tools. This CNN story focuses on Facebook, but believe me, everyone in the tech and media space is doing the same thing:

Worried about when you might get dumped? Facebook knows.

That’s according to a graphic making the rounds online that uses Facebook status updates to chart what time of year people are splitting up.

British journalist and graphic designer David McCandless, who specializes in showcasing data in visual ways, compiled the chart. He showed off the graphic at a TED conference last July in Oxford, England.

In the talk, McCandless said he and a colleague scraped 10,000 Facebook status updates for the phrases “breakup” and “broken up.”

They 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.

And let’s hear it for cheapskates. The other big romantically treacherous time, according to the graph, is about two weeks before Christmas — presumably as 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…

[continues at CNN]

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  • Butter Knife

    Heaven help us, somebody discovered that information gathered on facebook can be used to perform basic statistical calculations! What shall we ever do? Clearly this destroys any sort of provacy we might believe ourselves to have, because those evil intelligence officers at Facebook can make broad brush statistical statements about relationship statuses.

    No, really, I’m deeply concerned and outraged, and I in no way feel that this is making big news out of something that anyone who has passed statistics 101 could easily (given the time and resources) accomplish. This is truly cause for panic.

  • Butter Knife

    Heaven help us, somebody discovered that information gathered on facebook can be used to perform basic statistical calculations! What shall we ever do? Clearly this destroys any sort of provacy we might believe ourselves to have, because those evil intelligence officers at Facebook can make broad brush statistical statements about relationship statuses.

    No, really, I’m deeply concerned and outraged, and I in no way feel that this is making big news out of something that anyone who has passed statistics 101 could easily (given the time and resources) accomplish. This is truly cause for panic.

  • gemmarama

    some of us are capable of getting dumped all year round. like last fucking week, for example. not that i’m bitter:

    http://www.theonion.com/video/hot-new-relationship-book-warns-women-wake-up-hes,17053/

  • gemmarama

    some of us are capable of getting dumped all year round. like last fucking week, for example. not that i’m bitter:

    http://www.theonion.com/video/hot-new-relationship-book-warns-women-wake-up-hes,17053/