Breaking up is no longer hard to do. In fact, for a growing number of women, all it takes is a text message, new research shows.
The study, conducted by security firm AVG Technologies, surveyed 500 women in the United States. Overall, 25 percent of women said they have or would have broken up with a partner by sending a text. And half have done so with a phone call, which doesn’t seem quite as cold-hearted as a text. Women in their 40s and 50s are nearly as likely to use their phones for ending a relationship as are women half their age.
Breakup texting has become so popular that there are entire websites devoted to showing the worst — or funniest, depending on your point of view — of these messages. And for those who are really in a hurry to end it, a listing of breakup shorthand is also available, such as "U & I R DUN" and "4GET IT."
AVG concludes that today's ultra-connected women have never been more emotionally detached. But the underlying issue may be an endless supply of men, thanks to social media and smartphones. Out of the 54 million singles in the United States, 40 million have tried online dating , according to "Online Dating Statistics" from Statistic Brain. If one guy doesn't work out, there's always another one — or 100.
When women are ready to start over, technology plays a big role in the screening process. Nearly half of the women surveyed said they use social media channels to check out dates ahead of time, Johanna Wojciak, a spokeswoman for AVG, told TechNewsDaily. Photos are given the most weight, followed by common friends and then interests and comments.
Most of the sleuthing is done on Facebook — a confession made by 74 percent of the respondents. Of those, 85 percent check their date's photos. But some turn to Twitter with 33 percent saying they check a guy's Twitter feed as part of a predate screen. [See also: Most Women Do This Before a First Date ]
What women see on social media can end a relationship before it even gets started. Nearly 25 percent of women said they have canceled a date because of what they discovered online. But the snooping doesn't stop once a woman starts seeing a new man. According to the survey, 44 percent of women confessed to reading texts and emails on a guy's phone without his permission.
As if all of this snooping and impersonal dumping weren't disheartening enough for guys, there's also bad news for men in relationships. Nearly 60 percent of American women would rather give up sex than their mobile device for a week.
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