Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 29 November, 2022

How Facebook can predict when you’re going to get dumped

Watch out: we’re getting to peak dumping time, if the world’s status updates are to be believed.

WE ALL USE Facebook for a multitude of things – whether it’s keeping in touch with friends living elsewhere, sharing photographs of parties or family events, or generally engaging in some hard-hitting class A banter.

It now transpires, however, that Facebook has other applications – such as measuring the times of the year in which a Facebook user is most likely to be dumped.

This image came from infographic artist David McCandless, who inserted it into a talk he gave at TED during the summer. Mashable reports that he and his squad scraped thousands of status updates every day, searching for the phrases “break up” and “broken up” and logging how often they were posted.

Though there were a constant bed of updates that didn't relate to relationship breakdown, there were certain times when the phrases were posted more often - most prominently in the fortnight before Christmas, where people simply wriggled out of buying presents, and during the 'Spring Break' period in the US when many college-goers take road trips to parties out of town.

Of course, the bump in the two weeks before Christmas would well be as Irish users react to a sequence of terrible Budgets, and realise they won't have the money for a relationship. Though, that could just be us.

McCandless's full talk is below, and is well worth a watch.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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