I stumbled upon an excellent little video clip on Vimeo detailing the progression of a relationship through its different phases. What i love about this video short is that it shows, in the beginning, the man straightening up his place in anticipation of her visit and gradually progresses to where he just doesn’t care anymore. Allowing her to finally see what and who he really is eventually culminates in a break up, albeit a temporary one and the video ends with her return displayed by her revisiting his window and tossing a toy into it to signify the rekindling of their relationship. Overall its a pretty good demonstration of human psychology surrounding relationships and well worth a watch.
But it Got me thinking about the ending, how her finally returning to him is left on a cliffhanger, displaying the romantic ideal of permanence. The truth is that this is actually the beginning of what i call the “Ghost breakup” phase of the relationship, where the couple slowly but surely leverages break up threats at one another in order to control them, while they psychologically prepare to end it for good later on down the line.
Facebook posted a fascinating analysis of the data surrounding relationships, particularly how newly formed couples post on their facebook timelines that elucidates the beginning stages of this dynamic…here are the relevant bits:
“Facebook might understand your romantic prospects better than you do.
In a blog post published yesterday, the company’s team of data scientists announced that statistical evidence hints at budding relationships before the relationships start.
As couples become couples, Facebook data scientist Carlos Diuk writes, the two people enter a period of courtship, during which timeline posts increase. After the couple makes it official, their posts on each others’ walls decrease—presumably because the happy two are spending more time together.
In the post on Facebook’s data science blog, Diuk gives hard numbers:
During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts (“day 0”), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.
You can see these data in the chart above. The number of wall posts climbs and climbs—until it tumbles when things become official.”
I believe that facebook has documented here, the initial courtship phase of the romance, followed by the transition into regularity, where both parties have let their guards down. They havent documented the breakup stage however. I would like to see statistics following how breakups, and makeups progress as well in terms of social media trends. It is a well known fact that the chances of men killing themselves after divorce increases significantly perhaps there is some insight to pull out of facebook data mining that can help men avoid the feelings of desperation after divorce that leads them to take their own lives? I certainly hope so.