Boston Teens Learn Modern Etiquette for Facebook Romance


Boston teens got a lesson in the do’s and don’ts of Facebook romance late last month during a one-day conference on “healthy break-ups.” According to The New York Times Magazine, the seminar, sponsored by the Boston Public Health Commission, attempted to answer such pressing questions as: how fast is too fast to change your relationship status? And when is it OK to delete pictures of your ex?

Behaviors were classified as “healthy” or “unhealthy.” During one session, a 17-year-old boy was told he should “take a technology timeout” the next time he felt the urge to rush home and change his relationship status after a break-up. Teens were encouraged not to initiate break-ups through text messages or on Facebook. In order to drive the point home, one adult facilitator wore a pin reading, “Face It, Don’t Facebook It.”

Conference organizer Nicole Daly told The Times magazine breakups are the part of relationships adults never discuss with teens. “We’re here to change that,” she said.

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Ryan Schill

Ryan Schill is the editor of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. In 2012 he wrote a comics journalism piece about the ongoing U.S. immigration debate, published in partnership with Cartoon Movement. His 2011 story about a case of misdiagnosed child abuse won first place in the non-deadline writing category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Ryan is completing his MA in professional writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a BS in media studies. His research interests include experimental journalism forms, journalism ethics and philosophy, theories of literary journalism and the intersections of social justice and journalism.