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Facebooking for love, Part 3--Jasmine's Tech Dos & Don'ts

Get schooled by CNET editor Jasmine France. This week: saving face on Facebook when romance goes south.

Jasmine's tech dos and don'ts

So we've discussed how it's possible to spark love with some help from Facebook, as well as the ins and outs of maintaining the love by not thrusting it into the spotlight. It's high time to come full circle on this whole Facebooking-for-love business. As previously noted, the sad fact in today's world is that nothing's permanent.

However, dealing with breakup turmoil on Facebook should be easy as pie if you've followed the tips from the first two segments in this series. Namely: there should be no breakup turmoil on Facebook. But I suppose it might be inevitable for some, which is where this last bit of advice comes into play.

Part III: Saving face

So much of this advice seems completely obvious to me--and likely to most of you as well--but it clearly bears repeating for some. For example, DON'T get into flame wars with your ex or soon-to-be ex on Facebook. It's quite childish, wouldn't you agree? Plus, once you start airing all that dirty laundry for every one of your "friends" to see, you open yourself up to criticism, which can be quite the dose of salt on the wounds of the recently separated.

And since we're on the subject of maturity (or the lack of it), please DON'T hack into another user's Facebook account and spew on his or her page. After all, the goal here is to save face, not make yourself look bad. The best way to protect your own feelings and come off looking like a reasonable person is to actually act like one. Reasonable people also aren't blatantly spiteful, so DO consider your ex's feelings. Obviously, taking care of yourself is top priority, but there's no need to post purposefully mean and hurtful things about another person. Even if he or she has chosen this route, take the high road and DON'T sink to their level.


While we're at it, DON'T attempt to make a former partner jealous via Facebook. A status update stating "just spent two hours at the gym and flirted with the hot new yoga instructor" is a bit obvious, don't you think? Plus, you're just opening yourself to an onslaught of unwelcome information from the other side. For instance, I don't know of many people who would enjoy seeing photos of an ex and his or her new lover crop up in that coveted profile pic slot.

Anything posted on your own wall--whether by you or someone else--is easy enough to delete: just hover over it and click "remove." If a particular person insists upon continually vandalizing your wall, go to Account > Privacy Settings > Personal Information and Posts. Under Posts by Friends, edit the custom setting to exclude that person from seeing posts on your wall--this also prevents him or her from posting anything.

This issue of privacy brings up a final point that is unfortunately worth mentioning in regard to Facebook and romantic relationships. If a former, potential, or (most likely) not-so-potential romantic partner exhibits stalker-like or unusually creepy behavior, DO ban that person from your profile immediately by adding him or her to the block list under Account > Privacy Settings. A good friend of mine who endured such a situation went so far as to ask her close friends to block the person as well, which we gladly did. DON'T overlook basic safety precautions just because you're operating within the confines of a social networking service.

Now, a few people were wondering how to deal with Facebook photos after a breakup, but I don't have very strong feelings on the matter either way. However, I will say that quietly taking down individual photos or even entire albums is much better than trying to crop them discreetly (yeah...we still know).

And with that, I'm spent. Actually, I'm never too spent to enjoy some horror stories about Facebook breakups--I invite you to share your tales in the comment section. Also, if you have any requests for upcoming columns, please post them below!

Last week: Facebooking for love, Part 2