Facebook and Break-Ups

Breaking Up
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Are you addicted to social media? Are you compelled to check your Facebook account when you first get up in the morning? If your digital life is important to you, it might be hurting your ability to move on after a break-up.

Facebook keeps us connected to all the people we don't see on a regular basis, and keeps our pasts ever-present. While it's great to see what's going on with your old high school pal, it's another thing to see your ex posting pictures of his new girlfriend, or changing his status to "in a relationship" before you can even say "broken up."

While I wish we all had the courage to de-friend people who we're no longer involved with, it is a hard thing to do immediately. Maybe we can block a phone number or avoid places where you both used to go together, but tearing yourself away digitally is another challenge.

Following are some tips to help you break-up digitally:

Give yourself a digital break. There's nothing wrong with taking a brief time-out from Facebook, Twitter, etc. If it's hurting you to see his posts every time you login, then you'll be doing yourself a favor. Just take a breather - your friends will be there when you return.

Avoid posting about the relationship on your wall. While you might want the opinion of all your Facebook friends about whether or not your ex is a jerk, please don't post missives on your wall and then wait for people to comment. If you have to share your hurt and frustration with someone, then share in person. There's no need to make it a public forum. It's better if you don't know what his friends think of you, too - likely they will come to his defense. On Facebook.

Delete your relationship status. There's no need to let everyone know you're single, or "it's complicated," or anything else that might cause digital conversation. Just leave it blank for now. If anyone questions you, don't feel pressured to answer.

De-friend if you can. If your ex is always on Facebook, posting about his life, the people in it, or his musings, then you're causing yourself more emotional pain when you keep him as a friend. Even if you both decided in real life to stay friends, everybody needs time to heal when a relationship ends. This means taking a true break. De-friend him so you don't have to get his posts. You can always revisit your friendship status later, when both of you have moved on.

Is Your Date too Controlling?

Advice
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Katy Perry recently revealed to Vogue that her break-up with Russell Brand happened via a text message - one that he sent to announce he was filing for divorce. And while she admitted she made mistakes that contributed to its demise, she also realized in retrospect that Brand was very controlling.

"At first when I met him he wanted an equal, and I think a lot of times strong men do want an equal, but then they get that equal and they're like, I can't handle the equalness. He didn't like the atmosphere of me being the boss on tour. So that was really hurtful, and it was very controlling, which was upsetting," she explained to Vogue.

Katy Perry's experience sheds light on something that many people don't consider when entering into a romantic relationship - that one partner may be too controlling, which leads to conflict, self doubt, and a lot of frustration. But it isn't always obvious when you're in love. You may tend to make excuses for your partner or ignore the warning signs.

So how can you be sure you're not dating someone who's too controlling? Here are a few red flags to consider:

He's inflexible. Does he normally get his way when you are making plans, or is it a joint effort? If he's really considering your opinion and feelings, he will listen and try to come up with a solution that makes both of you happy. If he makes you feel guilty and claims you're being unreasonable most of the time, this is a red flag. Don't ignore it. Speak up and let him know your opinion matters.

He has poor communication skills. Some men aren't very emotionally open, and as a result they feel powerless when they are in love. In order to take back some control, they assert themselves when they should be partnering. If your man doesn't want to discuss issues you face, and directs you instead, it's time to address your concerns.

He's possessive. Does he sulk when you go out with your girlfriends instead of him? Does he get angry when you make a decision without his consent, even if it doesn't involve him? If he makes you feel bad for making choices independent of him, then consider it a problem.

He has no accountability. He places blame on other people, including you, because he isn't willing to look at himself. This is common - we tend to blame other people, circumstances, etc. instead of seeing how we contributed to the problem, and what we can do to change things. If he's not willing to look at himself, then maybe it's time to move on.

eHarmony Free Communication Weekend Aug 15th - 18th

eHarmony
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eHarmony.com and eHarmony.ca are having a free communication weekend that starts tomorrow and runs for 4 days (Aug 14 - Aug 18). This will probably be the last FCW of the summer so if you want to give eHarmony a try, these next few days will give you a chance to not only create a profile and view your matches but send emails as well.

During free communication weekends no credit card is required. Other dating sites during free trials tend to require a credit card before you can continue. eHarmony knows they offer a good service and believes singles who are looking for a long-term relationship shouldn't have a problem finding a match if they follow their process. One thing I will recommend you do is take the time and fill in your profile with the best answers possible. Do not rush it as this is the information the eHarmony matching algorithm uses to select your matches. If you are unsure what to write or select in any one question, usually the first answer that came to your mind is probably the correct one. If you still are unsure you can always skip the question, reflect on the answer, and come back later.

Please note FCW do not include the following features: photos in profiles, secure call over your phone, or skip the guided communication process to go straight to email.

For more on this dating site you should read our eHarmony review and take a look at the user reviews other visitors have posted. eHarmony also had a free communication weekend in July (see Story).

Are We Getting Tired Of Social Media?

Social Networks
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Wake up. Scan your Facebook news feed. Check your notifications on Twitter. Post to your Tumblr. Favorite a friend's photo on Instagram. Share an interesting article on Google+. Add a pin to your newest Pinterest board. Update your qualifications on LinkedIn. Then check your email, blog, and online dating profile.

And that's before you've even had breakfast.

We're living in a social media-saturated world, and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that our obsession with digital connectivity has changed the way we relate to each other. Now, what started as a fun and ground-breaking way to meet new friends and keep in touch with old ones may be turning into a time-consuming chore.

According to a recent survey conducted by E-Score, consumer attitude towards social media could be shifting. While awareness and usage of social media sites continues to remain high, the allure of using them is starting to fade.

The survey identified the social media sites with the most consumer awareness, as well as the appeal of those sites. Facebook scored the highest for both awareness and appeal, with 140 million unique monthly visitors in the US. Twitter came in second, followed by Google+. Dating sites eHarmony and Match.com rounded out the top 5.

Though two online dating sites were among the top five most recognizable social media brands, they were also among the lowest when ranked by appeal. Online dating has overcome many hurdles since its inception, but it seems it still has a few to clear.

Both Facebook and Twitter also earned surprising scores. They are two of the most recognizable and popular social media platforms, but they scored unexpectedly low in the appeal ratings. The survey's findings suggest that these social media sites are either habit-forming (and I think few of us who use them would disagree with that) or viewed as a necessity rather than a pastime.

"During the past five years, the role of social media has shifted from a leisure activity to an integral and, at times, mandatory, part of our lives," said Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research. Social media fatigue could be setting in as using social media sites becomes more about obligation and less about fun.

I don't think the fall of social media is happening any time soon, but it's an intriguing prospect. Will something we once thought was a positive addition to our lives become something we can't stand?

What do you think: are we experiencing social media burnout?

'True Blood' Star Finds Love On Match.com

Match.com
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On the hit show True Blood, Deborah Ann Woll has sexy vampire mind-control powers to seduce men. In real life, her love story is a little more tame.

Ok, a lot more tame.

In 2007, Woll joined Match.com. Then 23 and fresh out of the University of Southern California's theater school, she wanted to meet someone genuine and grounded that she could build a life with.

"I'm shy, and I'd always had a hard time meeting boys," she told Glamour. "I had a serious boyfriend in high school, but Hollywood, where it's all about being 'cool,' terrifies me! When I opened my Match account, I'd done a few guest spots but wasn't on True Blood yet, and I wanted to find someone grounded."

She found that someone in the form of 32-year-old comic E.J. Scott. Part of what drew her to Scott was the honesty in his Match profile: he mentioned that he had been diagnosed with choroideremia, a rare disease that causes progressive loss of vision and aversion to bright lights.

Scott says he was attracted to her right away. "I kept clicking through her photos, and there was one that had this great big smile," he said to Glamour. "I'm a big smile guy. Her profile said she liked Mystery Science Theater 3000. She was so pretty yet so nerdy! I just had a feeling about her."

Woll says she connected with Scott right away because she felt like she could be herself with him, and he too was taken with her from day one. Now the couple is living proof that relationships that begin on Match.com, or any other dating site, can go the distance. Woll and Scott have stayed strong through a break-up, several years of a long-distance relationship, and the daily challenge of his declining vision.

Now the True Blood star is eager to start a family with her long-term boyfriend. "I didn't grow up imagining my wedding day," Woll says, "so we may not get married, but we're committed for life, and we want kids. I could wait, but his biological clock is ticking!" They estimate that Scott has 10 years left before he loses his vision completely, and they would like to have kids before he is more seriously impaired so he can see them grow up.

Despite the unusual obstacles they've faced, Woll and Scott have been together for six years and they're stronger than ever.

Best of luck to them both!

The Future Of Dating Apps: Facebook Mobile Ads

Are You Interested (AYI)
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Facebook's ad strategy is a subject of major concern for investors. Advertisements are the site's principal driver of revenue and now that it's a public company, Facebook must satisfy investors as well as its own internal team.

The outlook has been grimmer than anticipated for all but one group of advertisers: dating apps.

In June 2013, the top 20 grossing iPhone apps in the social networking sphere included at least 13 dating apps. Facebook-integrated apps like Tinder, a new app that's taking the market by storm, are becoming increasingly popular among social networking-savvy singles. But as Tinder grows, some older apps, like Are You Interested, a freemium app that's been downloaded 70 million times in its 6-year history, are suffering.

AYI monthly users have dropped from 7.3 million in November 2011 to 3 million today. Only 80,000 people have signed up for AYI subscriptions so far, reports Forbes, and revenue was static for 2012. AYI needs a new strategy if it's going to leverage the 20 million Facebook users who have already synced their profiles to the app and stay on top of the competition. To reinvigorate the brand, AYI turned to Facebook's mobile app install ads.

AYI began a heavy marketing campaign on Facebook's mobile offering, and within a month saw 200% more downloads than the previous month. Because Facebook's mobile advertising is relatively inexpensive, AYI was able to conduct tests to find their most engaged audiences:

  • Canadian males & Brazilians of both genders aged 26-36
  • Finns over the age of 36
  • Americans over 30

And it's not just Facebook's impressive opportunities for market research that make it an ideal choice for marketers. Ads like those used by AYI no longer take users out of the Facebook app and into the app store to download, Users can install new apps directly from their newsfeed, which makes for an easier, more streamlined experience.

Some companies have a greater potential for Facebook ad success than others. Cliff Lerner, co-founder and CEO of Are You Interested, recommends Facebook mobile ads for companies that operate in multiple countries. Those companies, he believes, have the most to gain from the demographic testing that can be done on Facebook. He also advises targeting friends of people who have already installed the app and showing that connection to users who are more likely to download an app their friends are already using.

"Users don't behave differently on mobile but there's less competition for traffic right now and it's cheaper to acquire a user," Lerner says. Facebook's mobile offering may now be the hottest place for companies that rely on downloads to do business.