Relationship alert: The amazing Facebook breakup graph
In which month are relationships more likely to break up? An enterprising Brit researched Facebook status updates to graph the danger zones. (Tip: Beware December!)
The image: To produce the intriguing infographic featured below, British journalist David McCandless searched 10,000 Facebook status updates (from a period of 12 months) for words like "broken" and "breakup" that suggested romantic relationships had ended. He then plotted the data to reveal when Facebook users were most likely to get dumped over the course of a year. By his calculations, Christmas Day is the safest time for a relationship, but the two weeks leading up to December 25 are a key danger zone, as are Mondays in April.
The reaction: How "heart-crushing!" moans Carissa DiMArgo at NBC Washington. Still, says Robert Quigley at Geekosystem, while "the vast information-gathering capabilities of Facebook can be highly creepy" when your own privacy is invaded, "it can reveal fascinating patterns" that would be hard to pinpoint otherwise. This graph would have been far more shocking , says Chris Spag at Guyism, if it had revealed a surge of separations on a "totally arbitrary" holiday like Arbor Day. "Nothing makes me question the wisdom of my lifestyle choices more than a vigorous celebration of trees." Check out McCandless' conclusions: