Uh-Oh: Facebook Data Says We're Entering Breakup Season

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Facebook's dataset is fast becoming one of the premiere probes of human behavior. Using the site's statistics, we can double-check our intuitions about how people, in aggregate, behave.

And so it's with great sadness that I inform you that breakup season has begun, according to this graph from David McCandless, scraped from 10,000 status updates on the site. Right at the beginning of November, breakups start climbing, peaking a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Obviously, all sorts of caveats, selection biases, etc. But remember, this is just the beginning. Putting our social lives online means allowing our social lives to be quantified. Just look at all the analysis the dating site OKCupid puts out about our relationship predilections.

Via Gizmodo, Mathias Mikkelsen.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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