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Need a break from your ex? Facebook wants to help

Friday 20th November 2015

Jim Carrey's Joel Barish erased all memories of Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) after their break up in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Once you have decided you are never, ever, ever getting back together with a former flame, sometimes the hardest part of the break up is having reminders of them pop up in your Facebook news feed.

Facebook has recognised that seeing your ex’s name and face everywhere just adds salt to the wound and rather than having to add them to the mental list of people you used to know, Facebook is trialling a new tool that can take care of that for you.

Now, when mobile users in the US change their relationship status to indicate that they are no longer in a relationship, they can choose to “take a break” from their ex.


Facebook's new "Take a Break" tool

Facebook product manager Kelly Winters says the new tool means that you can choose to “see less of a former partner’s name and profile picture around Facebook without having to unfriend or block them. Their posts won’t show up in News Feed and their name won’t be suggested when people write a new message or tag friends in photos”.

Because nobody wants to see photos of their ex-boo on holiday in Costa Rica with their wildly attractive new partner who undoubtedly has their life completely together while you’re still in your pyjamas, licking Cheezles crumbs from the chip packet.

The new feature still allows you to check up on your ex’s profile page, however, because sometimes not even Facebook can save you from yourself.


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Ellen Falconer is a freelance journalist based in Auckland.
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