Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Life in the slow lane: Is this the modern-day break-up?

ValerieFrankelW

By
From page A4 | April 09, 2014 |

“We broke up.”

“What did he say?”

“He didn’t say anything, he just changed his Facebook status to ‘single’ and my best friend saw it and texted me about it; then I saw a picture on Instagram of him with another girl.”

I kid you not; I’ve heard these words. This is how some teenagers end relationships.

It brought me back to eighth grade and the heartbreak I felt when a boy whom I really liked told me that we should “break up.” At the time, I was completely devastated and thought my world was ending. However, at least the tone in his voice and the way he looked at me showed that he cared, he felt bad, even though he still wanted to dump me.

Looking back, it felt like a real ending — but the modern-day version of breaking up via electronics leaves the couple not having to face each other’s emotional experiences.

In this day of Instagram, texting, Snapchat and Facebook, it proves difficult for teenagers to actually talk without any devices. Teenagers can decide to date, have a relationship and end that relationship all via electronics as the main medium of communication. There’s actually research being done about the effects of breaking up via Facebook.

Do we want our kids to grow up and have relationships with people without knowing how to look them in the eyes and say, “I want to break up”? Our kids miss out on being able to observe how their words can impact others. Reading a Facebook post does not teach this.

So if texting is one way people can maintain invisibility with their emotions, how do we teach kids to handle upsetting someone face to face? We can’t exactly start practicing break-ups with them, but we can show them how uncomfortable feelings can be handled.

At work, I often encourage clients to not hide an occasional argument from their kids — it’s OK for kids to see how real-life upsetting situations are handled. If children are encouraged to express their feelings — including difficult ones — in front of others, they learn. A modern-day parent’s job clearly includes showing kids how to talk about their emotional experiences, which, I hope, will lead to texting with empathy and integrity.

Admittedly, I’m still concerned. Kids probably will grow up texting their friends before picking up the phone to talk. They will live through the ups and downs of their relationships via electronics because that’s what “everyone” does.
And if they break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend by texting or an online post, will they be as kind as my eighth-grade boyfriend? Will they understand that underneath a Facebook relationship status-change there are feelings? I hope so.

— Valerie Frankel, MFT, is a licensed therapist in private practice who lives in Davis with her family. Her column is published monthly. Reach her at vfrankel@gmail.com

Comments

comments

Valerie Frankel

.

News

 
Yolo makes hydrogen connection

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
UC Davis debate team wins national championship

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
USA Weekend calls it quits

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

 
Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

College sees benefits in loan guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Forum

It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This cat is on life No. 7

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

 
Say thanks to the caregivers

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Bombing is not the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

 
Commission’s list needs vetting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rifkin’s statement is offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Writer’s arguments fall flat

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings cruise past Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

Ruth Allen Barr

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8