Facebook Status Chart Reveals When Breakups Occur

A recent TED talk by David McCandless reveals when Facebook users are most likely to end their relationships.

Dating services and other marketers of wares that appeal to the newly single, take note: Facebook relationship statuses most frequently go from “in a relationship” to “single” right before spring break.

This infographic from David McCandless’s presentation at TED this past August has been rediscovered by the media this week after Sermo Consulting’s Mathias Mikkelsen posted a note about it on October 25.

I wonder about the extent of any “chicken-and-egg” dynamic here: Were people breaking up most frequently before spring break? Or does Facebook contribute some kind of cyber peer pressure effect here? When you’re debating whether to end a bad relationship, seeing the new availability of a lust object might inspire you to make yourself single. Similarly, someone who is truly dreading having to discuss a breakup can just change their relationship status on Facebook, which we all know does a number on the other person’s feelings.