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Get rid of your ex on Valentine's, from Facebook at least

An app called KillSwitch faithfully promises to remove all traces of your exes from your Facebook timeline. Yes, it's as if you never knew them.

2 min read
Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

An ex is like a scar you once got after a seventh Cabernet in a bar with 12 steps.

Some days, you look at it and are proud. At other times, you wonder how you could have done it to yourself.

The lies, the hurt, the occasional odor of indifference and the underarm spray that was at least two years old -- they all serve as jogs and jags to the memory.

Sadly, many people still hold material relics of disappointed love all over the most important part of their lives -- yes, their Facebook timelines.

In the bowels of these definitive capsules lies the evidence of smiles that proved fake, hugs that proved self-serving, and the sharing of caramel cone ice cream that proved to be nothing more than a deceptive and fattening practice.

So to give your Valentine's Day a fresh start and a clean break, a mobile app called KillSwitch is launching, its sole purpose being to eradicate your ex from your Facebook timeline.

As Mashable reports, KillSwitch promises faithfully to hoover away at your past and suck up all the detritus of the one who once said she loved you more than she loved, well, herself. (C'mon. This is America. That couldn't possibly have been true.)

There's one important -- and potentially deal-breaking -- element to using this app. You and your ex must still be Facebook friends.

I know that for some the very first act after a breakup is to sever the Facebook friendship. (The second is severing ties on LinkedIn.)

Some, though, for reasons of laziness or hidden longing, keep that tenuous connection alive, just in case one party becomes less obstinate or less blind to what really happened.

KillSwitch puts an end to that maybe.

It digs deep and wide, in order to find any last image, wall post, status update, or poke. You then decide whether to delete them permanently or keep them in a secret KillSwitch folder for a snowy day (in Hell).

Though it costs a whole 99 cents, some of the money will go to the American Heart Association of New York. (It's available as an Android app in the Google Play store and "coming soon" to the Apple App Store.)

With some exes, it can take awhile to remove all trace -- 4,000 posts took 15 minutes, according to the people behind the app. (4,000 posts? Who does that?)

But if your relationship was a mere superficial shell, then you can be done with all the evidence before you've had 10 slurps of your cappuccino.

Naturally, one could suggest that you could avoid the need for such technology, if you didn't feel such a desperate need to plaster the Web with pictures of every stage of every relationship.

But life these days is about display before dismay, isn't it?