Dr. Helen

Need to Break Up? There's an app for that.

Is breaking up with a significant other by app an act of cowardice or a good idea? “I’m not sure,” I thought as I read this New York Time’s article about how apps can be used to do your relationship break ups for you:

Checklist for the holidays: Buy bejeweled 2016 eyeglasses and noisemakers from street vendor. Stock Champagne. Regift perfume and sweaters. Turn Christmas tree into mulch. And, oh yes, break up with significant other.

The year-end is popular for ending things. (One analysis of changes to Facebook relationship statuses that mentioned “breakup” revealed a peak in the two weeks before Christmas.) But just in time for seasonal remorse is a flourishing breakup industrial complex, a confluence of technology and changing social mores.

If you’re not up to the dirty deed yourself, the Breakup Shop will do it for you. The site, whose slogan is “Let us help you end it,” uses email, snail mail, text or Snapchat, at prices from $5 to $80, for customized naughty or nice options. (In the nice category is an hasta la vista gift pack that includes chocolate-chip cookies and “The Notebook” on Blu-ray. In the naughty is a “mean photo attachment” of you with your new loved one.)

I’m going to go with cowardly on this one, this is ridiculous. What kind of person breaks up with someone and then either in narcissistic fashion goes on to send a sad romance movie and cookies as if they are such hot stuff or sends mean photos of them with another? Either act is pathetic. Most people need no encouragement to show their dark side (don’t believe me? Take a look at the nasty hate-filled comments on most comment sections) and these apps are not helpful in fostering human relationships.

The Millennial generation already has enough trouble in their dating lives. Do they really need a bunch of obnoxious apps to sever ties further with their fellow human beings? Crazy idea: why not just tell the person it’s not working out. There may be tears and anger (or laughter) but at least a human interaction has taken place. Isn’t that why people date in the first place? Or at least I thought it was.