By Karen Morfitt

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Breaking up is hard to do and no surprise, researchers say social media is making it harder. A new study from the University of Colorado in Boulder is taking a closer look at the issues caused by some social media platforms when it comes to break-ups.

Anthony Pinter is one of the authors behind the new study.

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“We know from kind of the offline side of that that research that space is really important and that’s really easy to get offline you don’t see the person but online with features like memories or people you may know these systems want to connect us and remind of us of things without really understanding the context,” he said.

Students on campus shared their experiences with social media when ending a relationship.

“You’re tagging them in pictures, sending them stuff and then after you break up you’re still seeing their name,” Noah Purdom said.

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Izzy Diamond had similar thoughts, “On Snapchat they will give you like one year memories so then it’s kind of said to look back and be like awe.”

Pinter says the study is taking a closer look at the algorithms used to recycle those old photos and posts, that become unwanted memories.

He says their research is part of a larger project to ultimately improve those features online.

(credit: CBS)

“How do we humanize algorithms and get them to understand the lived experiences that we as humans have,” he said.

It would be welcome change to just about anyone dating in the digital age.

“It would be super helpful so then you wouldn’t have to see their face all the time and all the fun happy memories you did have,” Diamond said.

Pinter says for those wanting to rid their online lives of reminders of love lost, he recommends unfriending, untagging, and blocking while understanding those options may not be foolproof.

Your best bet he says is to take a break from social media altogether.

Karen Morfitt

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