Yahoo! Mail just conducted a poll of 2,000 people in the U.S, surveying them about their email behavior. One of the very surprising results to come out of the poll, is that 13% of adults think it is acceptable to break up with someone via email, IM, or text. What’s more, the study found that men are more likely than women to end a relationship this way. But that’s not all. The poll found that 1 in 5 people admit to having read their significant other’s email without their knowledge.
When I read these stats, I had to go back and make sure that I had read it correctly, and not mistaken ‘adults’ for ‘teenagers’. But alas, I had not. I wasn’t really surprised with the finding that 70% of adults find it acceptable to send thank-you notes or cards via email, as I have already lamented the fact (even though I am guilty of it myself), that a lot of communication these days only happens via the web, but come on now, breaking up with someone over a text message or email! Really? And having no qualms about spying on your partner’s emails? That’s just straight up shady!
A quick Google search about breaking up via email further baffled me. I found that there are entire sites dedicated to the online breakup, many of which claim the online breakup is best if you ‘don’t want to hurt the other person’, but really should be tag-lined as best if you ‘can’t stomach doing it in person’. There are convenient ‘how to’ guides, and even email templates for the ‘perfect’ breakup. Because, if it isn’t bad enough to break up with someone online, you can get someone else to write the breakup letter for you.
Breaking up with someone using email or text message should never be acceptable. It is the coward’s way out and, in my opinion anyway, says a lot about you as a person (but I guess if you’re hacking into their emails, then I really shouldn’t expect any different). If you really don’t want to do it in person, at least be game enough to call. You’re most likely going to have to speak to them anyway, considering they will probably phone you after opening their email and reading your pathetic Dear John note, and the conversation is going to be a whole lot less pleasant after that than it needed to be.