Taking the `cheap way out' to end your relationship

Bekky Steyne, of Newstead, who was dumped by email. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON
Bekky Steyne, of Newstead, who was dumped by email. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

BREAKING up via text message is no LOL-ing matter, but a recent survey by an Australian dating service believes it is becoming more common.

Online dating agency eHarmony last week revealed that a survey of 2000 Australians showed one in 10 had been dumped via a phone text message.

One in seven people aged 18 to 24 considered this break-up method acceptable.

About half of the under-35 age group surveyed said their preferred method of contact following the first date was by text message.

Launceston sociologist Nicholas Hookway said relationship termination via text was part of technology's weakening of social bonds.

But he said this "cheap way out" was panned by internet modern manners and "netiquette" guides, encouraging those wishing to ditch their partner to do it face-to-face.

"Breaking up by text message is fast, easy and efficient and speaks to a lot of values in contemporary society, but it remains a question of morality," Dr Hookway said.

"Relationship breakdown facilitated by technology speaks to bigger themes in society of the `until further notice' nature of relationships, where moving on and finding the next best thing are prevalent.

"Relationships are more short- term and have a fugitive quality to them now.

"In the same way that we update our mobile phones for the better features, that consumer logic flows into relationships."

Newstead's Bekky Steyne, 18, received her notice by email.

She said a former partner had terminated their relationship with an email, a day before the two were to head off on a holiday together.

"If there are problems with a relationship, or you don't feel for that person anymore, you should have enough respect to say what you are feeling to their face," Miss Steyne said.

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