Facebook Already Knows If Your Relationship Is Doomed

Illustration for article titled Facebook Already Knows If Your Relationship Is Doomed

Ugh, Facebook, could just quit creepin' on my shit all the time? Like, it's fine if you want to provide a convenient platform for me to accidentally let my mom know that I got a parking tickets, for obviously fake people named "Dennis" to sexually proposition me, and for misogynists to steal my pics and photoshop chewed pizza dribbling out of my mouth. I've come to terms with all of those uses for your product. But could you just refrain from thinking about me so much with your creepy robot brain?

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Case in point, check out what these researchers managed to glean from Facebook's info about you:

Researchers from Cornell University examined the social connections of 1.3 million people, a process that helps the social network better tailor users' newsfeeds — but also, it turns out, that can be used to evaluate the inner workings of a romantic relationship. According tothe New York Times, research shows that while mutual friends are important, "high dispersion" within a social network is a stronger indicator of a romantic connection. High dispersion means that couples are connected to friends from different parts of each other's lives. “A spouse or romantic partner is a bridge between a person’s different social worlds,” explained a researcher to theTimes. Researchers mapped out users' social networks, and found they were able to predict (pretty accurately) who was dating whom based on incidences of high dispersion. And, conversely, when people who were in a relationship lacked high dispersion, there was a good chance they would break up within the next two months.

Now, clearly that's the researchers doing the gleaning—not Facebook itself—but you just know that the tiny kernel of nascent sentience at the heart of Facebook is lol-ing its ass off over your romantic foibles. And that means NEXT STOP: ROBOT HEGEMONY. YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE.

Image via Getty.

DISCUSSION

You know what I wish had a negative correlation with long, sustained relationships? Lots of public statuses/comments about how amazing/lovely their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend is. Good, GOD, I have some dear friends who don't go a day without a very public announcement about how great their relationship is. I like to think that, if it weren't for the one "married to" line in our profile, it would be hard to tell who me and my husband were married to because we keep the gushiness and love talk private (i.e. in person and directly to each other).