David McCandless recently gave a presentation about data visualization in which he unveiled this graph, which tracked 10,000 Facebook status updates to determine precisely when people in relationships broke up.
The results look like this:
Note the huge surges around Spring Break, the beginning of Summer, and two weeks before Christmas, as well as the sharp decline on Christmas Day itself. The majority of the breakups are announced on Mondays (Garfield was right – lasagna is awesome. Non sequitor.) The graph also doesn’t show what happens when someone in a relationship makes a detailed graph about ending relationships, but I’m guessing that’s been an instant breakup one out of one times.
All in all, though, pretty interesting graph. If giving up my Facebook privacy results in more cool graphical representations of peoples’ willingness to break up with one another, I can deal with that. Maybe the next one should track which social security numbers belong to the richest people?