Gwyneth Paltrow and her rocker lover Chris Martin have officially called it quits, using her Goopy blog to do it. They called their split a “conscious uncoupling” because “divorce” is apparently a nasty word that doesn’t reflect how they really feel even though they are, in fact, divorcing. Whether this was their attempt to soften the blow they were both surely feeling or a way to garner even more publicity over an already public break up, it can’t be denied that they’ve brought a new phrase to the forefront of the English language. Technology makes it easier for us to know more than we ever wanted about each other’s personal lives and it also gives us new ways to think about them, even if we’d rather not be thinking about them at all.
Remember that Bill Clinton incident with the cigar? Just imagine how it would’ve played out if Monica had been live tweeting the whole time she was in the Oval Office. Today’s social media allows us to stay up-to-the-minute on all hook-ups, break-ups, make-ups and everything in between and it’s bombarding us 24/7. We know all about who Ashton was hooking up with before he left Demi and knocked up Mila and we wonder why Miranda and Orlando just couldn’t make it work. Then of course there are those random acquaintances who overshare the dirty details of their romances all over their Facebook pages. Seeing people post about which skank was cheating with another and how their ex is a dirty rotten scumbag good for nothing but an onslaught of herpes is slightly entertaining but also slightly pathetic. And since what goes into cyberspace stays in cyberspace, that kind of information will be there for all sorts of future grandchildren to see. Perhaps if people were a little more conscious of who they were giving the details of their personal lives to, it would be easier to be mindfully removed from the situation once things went south. And while calling the end of a marriage a “conscious uncoupling” may be better for PR purposes, it really just brings to mind all of the unconscious couplings that go on day in and day out. Whether it’s from having a little too much to drink to simply wanting to get your rocks off with your latest FWB, a lot of couplings don’t necessarily require much forethought. Just ask Bill Clinton.
If you’re in a relationship where you spend more time updating those who follow your Twitter, blog, Instagram and Facebook profiles about the status of your partnership rather than actually engaging with your partner, you may want to take a step back. As fascinating as it is to read about how “the love of your life” didn’t do the dishes again or how you really can’t help posting pictures of your boo when she sleeps because she’s just so pretty, most people really don’t give a damn. Take the time used to upload whatever you were going to upload and maybe upload something into your significant other instead, if you know what I mean. Spending more time doing that instead of hanging out on the web could unconsciously help ensure that “conscious uncouplings” only exist for those whose brains are filled with Goop.