Breaking Up? Let an App Do It for You

Illustration: Monica Ramos

Excerpt from this article:

Dissolving a relationship used to be a private matter between the two principals, with a Greek chorus of close friends and family. Now the sopranos and tenors include apps, websites, social media tools and digital Cyranos for hire.

If you’re not up to the dirty deed yourself, the Breakup Shop will do it for you. The site, whose slogan is “Let us help you end it,” uses email, snail mail, text or Snapchat, at prices from $5 to $80, for customized naughty or nice options. (In the nice category is an hasta la vista gift pack that includes chocolate-chip cookies and “The Notebook” on Blu-ray. In the naughty is a “mean photo attachment” of you with your new loved one.)

It’s always been possible to “unfriend” someone on Facebook, but the company’s new “breakup flow” allows you to limit your connection with an ex: untagging photos, burying past posts and editing any mention on your news feed.

“It’s like unfriending lite,” said Kelly Winters, a product manager on the company’s compassion team. (Yes, Facebook has a compassion team, whose bailiwick entails “easing life’s difficult moments,” such as designating a “legacy contact” to handle your account when you’re dead.)

Maintaining even limited social media ties may seem self-flagellating, a gateway to cyberstalking an ex’s activities and new relationships (and if you digitally disconnect, at least you can imagine that he’s been hit by a bus).