Selina PfrÃŒner/DPA/Press Association Images
Oh dear. Living out your breakup in the public arena. Is it ever the right thing to do? I have spent the past week hanging on the every status update of a 'friend' (let's call her Monica. I am pretty sure I don't really have any friends/rellies with that name) who has been using a social networking site to chronicle the demise of her marriage to 'John'.
Trouble started to brew a few weeks ago, when her usual chirpy updates took on passive aggressive undertones and attention-seeky leanings – you know, of the 'I wish certain people would grown up' and 'if only some people knew what they were doing to me' variety.
Then it escalated to swear words becoming the adjectives of choice to describe her once 'darling John'.
I pored over each update, but did not add to the thread – there was enough of a captive audience doing that already, much fake are 'are you OK?' and 'OMG! EMAIL ME IMMEDIATELY!' messages from 'concerned' friends who obviously just wanted in on a bit of blood-shed and angst.
Then came the big one.
'Have thrown John out. It's over'.
Monica's relationship status was changed to 'it's complicated' and her picture - once a wholesome family shot of her, John and their offspring on holiday - was replaced by a pouty, cleavagey 'look at me boys!' type image.
Her pals were straight in with words of comfort in the form of 'well done!' 'congratulations!' and immediate requests for girls' nights out, even suggestions of 'going out on the pull'.
In the end I felt compelled to send a private message just saying 'sorry you are going through such a rough time'. But nothing more. Because a) I thought it was a really stupid place to be putting all this personal information, and b) I had a sneaking suspicion how it would all end up – much slagging off of 'John', much baying for blood from Monica's pals, then a week later, announcements of renewing of marriage vows and second honeymoons in the Seychelles.
The marriage had, after all, been played out on the web since they first walked up the aisle three years ago; since then, everything from a pic of a positive pregnancy test through to semi-porny pics of her in her bridal nightwear had been put up for public consumption. In fact, me and another chum once logged in on their wedding night fully expecting to find video footage of the consummation of their marriage online.
Anyway, in the days after the big 'have thrown John out' announcement, friends continued to show their support by variously branding him a pig, a loser, a layout-about, a rubbish father, a 'slag' (that one had me giggling all day) and adding more assertions of how she was better off without him and how their kids 'did not need a dad like that'. Blah blah blah ad nauseum.
And then, today, as I knew all along would be the case, my news-feed informed me that, Monica had updated her relationship status to 'married' and changed her profile pic. Now, the image which greeted me on her page was a familiar one - one of her smug wedding pictures, all soft focus, vintage lace, flushed cheeks and rose petal infused hair.
Ugh. Small mouth sick time. Goodness, there have been occasions in my own breakup (breakdown?) where I have wanted to Facebook, Tweet, scrawl on toilet walls, and write across the sky what a $£%$ my ex is, but surely, SURELY, it's really not the way to behave? Or is it?
Am I missing a trick in self-preservation, gratification and good old-fashioned vengeance? What do you think?
Have YOU used social networking to get your own back on your ex, or just to vent the frustrations of your relationship? Is it just what people do in 2011?