You’ve heard it from several places already I bet, but Britney Spears supposedly broke up with her husband Kevin Federline via a text message. And for extra technological fun, it was captured on YouTube, as poor Kevin was on a talk show when it happened. Just goes to show you that if you check your messages while in the company of others, karma is going to catch up with you.
I was disappointed in the basic story coverage by the US news affiliates. It seems as though they got lazy in their research. The Rueters news article which is the one everyone seems to be using (it’s the one I linked to via MSNBC) states that “No U.S. figures were available to track the use of text messaging to dump partners.” Although they are correct, there is some US research that is close enough to make it worth mentioning. According to a Pew Internet and American Life survey conducted in 2001, 13% of teens have used IM to break up with someone (to be fair, 17% used it to ask someone out). Given that it’s been five years since this research, one can imagine the numbers for breaking up using text messages would be similar. It’s also similar to the Swiss figure, which states that 9% of their young population has broken up with someone using a text message.
So Kevin, don’t feel so bad. You can get online and IM your friends to let them know how sad you are.