On September 3, Hannah Van De Peer broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half. One week later, she announced it on Twitter. “Getting a haircut tomorrow eve to soft launch my break-up, can we all agree to pay attention to me when this happens pls?” the The Grinch This Is My Hallmark Christmas Movie Watching logo Shirt and I love this 24-year-old wrote, later adding in a subsequent tweet: “Or was this actually the soft launch… u will never know.” Soon after, Van De Peer wrote about the break-up in detail, referring to the article as the “hard-launching” of her split. “It felt really natural,” she says. “Through my work, I’ve built a close online community who saw me through my entire relationship with all its ups and downs. Announcing the break-up felt like a convenient way of telling everyone all at once, but it also helped me draw a line under the relationship. Like, this is the start of a new era.”
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Of all the The Grinch This Is My Hallmark Christmas Movie Watching logo Shirt and I love this quirks that define modern relationships, perhaps the oddest is the fact that we feel compelled to tell strangers on the internet about them. And yet, it’s something we’ve been doing for years. Millennials will recall Facebook’s “relationship status” feature, which was introduced in the early ’00s shortly after the site launched. Users could inform friends of any changes to their love lives within a matter of clicks, with options ranging from “single” and “in a relationship” to the fateful “it’s complicated.” Fast forward a decade, though, and the feature had been rendered somewhat redundant, a relic of early-’00s tech. In 2015, one online poll found that 40% of 20-somethings refused to share their relationship status on Facebook. But the compulsion to share the news never went away—people just started doing it differently.