What did people do late at night before you could stalk social media for news on your ex? No clue, but one social platform is potentially taking us back to that era. Facebook is testing a new ex-file tool (which could be good news or bad news, depending on how you feel about your stalking/information gathering habits). In a Facebook newsroom blog announcement on Nov. 19, a project manager for the social networking site announced a new tool to help users manage their ex's content. For the recently consciously uncoupled, when users change their romantic status to "indicate they are no longer in a relationship," they will be introduced to some new nifty options to help them manage how much of their ex they see as a newly single person on Facebook.
New options include prompts that ask users if they want to "see less" of their former flame's feed including name and his or her all-defining profile pic any where near your feed. You can also hide your new content from your ex without the person knowing you're doing so. This new feature allows you to save the ever popular unsubscribe, unfriend, or block options for, well, other purposes. The idea? Now you have more control over what you see on FB, which might make you better after the power-usurping force that is a break-up. The beauty of these new tools is that, chances are, your ex is likely doing the same thing to your feed across the virtual chasm that now defines the demise of your relationship.
What I'm assuming will be one of the most popular features of the ex-file's new tools is the ability to "edit who’s allowed to see past posts with a former partner, and the ability to remove your tags from these posts." The newsroom blog post reports that Facebook is starting a new endeavor of community service with blog posts to help keep people who use FB "safe, supported, and connected." These new options will roll out first on mobile starting on Nov. 19, and will develop functionality based on user feedback.
This is what you can expect from these "time to move on" reminder messages when you tell Facebook you just broke up with bae (in the example below, bae is "Taylor.")
But I have to wonder, is this type of technology really helpful when it comes to moving on from your ex? After all, you have to show willpower and restraint if you want to really move on from your relationship.
It's that moment when you realize you can totally indulge in a walk down memory lane (or traipse into his or her her present day life, which, as you know, doesn't include you) and then decide not to. That's what is going to allow you to effectively pack up those ex piles for good. You! Not, an app. In other words, you gotta stop the "information gathering" by moving yourself away from the computer.
OK, OK. Easier said than done. I totally get that. So, I suppose a little help from these Facebook new ex-be-gone tools might perf for that first step when you part company and need some social media distance. In that vein, thanks FB, for keeping my user experience and virtual break-up as pleasant as possible.