By Anna Breslaw, Glamour magazine
Last summer I went from 1,000 Facebook friends to 500. It was time-consuming, emotionally draining and occasionally a harsh cut or two was made. But I felt cleaner afterward. Lighter! Like I'd just gotten a Facebook colonic! Men don't have that, I guess.
As it turns out, the "Facebook purge"--often perpetrated by women trying to start over after a bad breakup or the simulacrum of one--is mostly a female and teen phenomenon. A study by the Pew Research Center shows that out of the two-thirds of Internet users who use a social networking site, 67% of women have unfriended people while only 58% of men have.
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And while 58% of all social network users have some kind of privacy setting on their profile, in an even wider margin than the defriending rates, women favor the highest privacy level, coming in at 67% to 48% of men.
Really? Guys don't purge their Facebooks? I don't know about the rest of you, but I know girls who, the moment the "X is no longer in a relationship" seal is broken, have spent many a post-breakup hour unfriending, untagging and deleting any trace of their ex and their ex's friends, generally attempting to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the entire relationship away, etc.
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But this is sort of like how women tend more to infuse objects involved in a relationship with emotional meanings and associations (his T-shirts? That Harold & Kumar DVD he gave you for Hannukah?) and throwing them out/burning them is empowering. On the other hand, tons of men (I'd even say most, with the exception of all the few El Sensitivos out there) would hang onto that perfectly good DVD and laugh just as loud at Neil Patrick Harris' cameo and not think of their ex one single bit. And really, I suppose it makes sense that Facebook would be the same.
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