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Can Facebook predict your breakup?

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  October 29, 2013 12:00 PM

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Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 12.11.02 PM.pngSkip this part. (Screenshot courtesy of the writer)

According to new research from Cornell and Facebook, It's Complicated.

From The New York Times:

Their key finding was that the total number of mutual friends two people share — embeddedness, in social networking terms — is actually a fairly weak indicator of romantic relationships. Far better, they found, was a network measure that they call dispersion.

This yardstick measures mutual friends, but also friends from the further-flung reaches of a person’s network neighborhood. High dispersion occurs when a couple’s mutual friends are not well connected to one another.

In other words, a relationship’s success is based not on how many mutual “Friends” you share with your significant other per se, but how wide your social net is collectively. The article also confirms, again, that Facebook is exploiting pretty much every iota of information you provide to them in some way, shape or form, which means that for people who are guilty of frequently breaking up, making up and broadcasting it via their news feed (you know who you are): the joke’s on you.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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