Friday March 22, 2013 | 08:27 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

We've all felt it. The pain of a broken heart. And, if you haven't felt it. I hate you.

I'm sorry, that's a little extreme. I don't really hate people. Let's just say I'd rather not talk to you for a while. Or ever.

So, for those of you who I'm not talking to, try to picture this awful, empty hole in your soul that barely allows you to breathe and then imagine trying to fill it up with chocolate, bourbon and Doritos. Now, once you've imagined that feeling, magnify it 58 million times by adding in a huge dose of social media. That's right, you get to see the heartbreaker's smiling, handsome face plastered all over every social network you use. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even stupid old Foursquare. There he is. Smiling. Checking in. Maybe even checking in with somebody else.

Sucks, right?

Breaking up has never been easy, but in the old days you could just pack your bags and move to Wisconsin or something. You know, escape the pain in the land of fried cheese. Nowadays, you're not so lucky. Even as you're standing in line getting ready to order that extra large frozen custard and a 40 oz. of Milwaukee's finest, you might glance down at your phone and—surprise!—he's "in a relationship." Thank you Facebook.

So, you can see where I'm going with all of this. Today, thanks to social media, getting dumped is more painful than ever. Enter Killswitch. A mobile app whose tagline is, "making breakups suck less." It was released last month on Valentine's Day. I love it already.

According to a recent article in The New York Times covering a new crop of apps designed to help us get over failed relationships, "In a digital age, getting rid of memories isn’t that easy. Being connected to so many people across a web of overlapping social networks means that “defriending” or “unfollowing” people rarely removes them completely from your virtual world."

So, instead of seeing photos of your smiling, handsome former boyfriend  in the LoveMEshirt your replacement gave him on Valentine's Day, Killswitch will remove every mention of your target ex from your Facebook page.

And, you don't just have to depend on Killswitch. You can also look for solace from the app, Ex-Lover Blocker, and the Web site, Never Liked It Anyway, on which dumped lovers can sell gifts from their exes. You can read about both of them here.

“Social Media intends to reflect many aspects of the human experience, [but] it doesn’t yet easily reflect that key element--the end of relationships,” write the designers. “Killswitch isn't a vindictive tool, it’s part of a healing process, an assertion of independence, and getting closer to what’s right for you after discovering what wasn’t.”

This all sounds very healthy to me. I'm downloading as we speak.

He loves me not. Killswitch.*

*I should note that I haven't been dumped recently. In fact, I haven't even been on a real date in over a year. So, everyone can just calm down. Let's just say I have a really good memory.


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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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