Facebook and other social networking tools are ubiquitous, but in the timeline of human evolution, they're brand-new. Although we all use these Web sites, none of us have developed a universal set of standards to guide us in online interaction. So when it comes to breaking up in the digital age, caution -- not spontaneity -- is advised.
With no clear guidelines or etiquette for Facebook breakups, there is only one way to be sure of avoiding drama. In short, be nice, and break up without posting it to your wall.
You can change your relationship status without making a public announcement. In your Privacy Settings, click the News Feed and Wall link. In the Highlights section, deselect Change Relationship Status. Now you're quietly again listed as single. You can also remove your relationship status from your profile completely.
Also, don't use Facebook as an open diary to show that you're hurting. Yes, you can use public posts on Facebook to elicit sympathy from your supporters and make your ex look like a thoughtless, inconsiderate jerk. But don't let the technology trump your emotional intelligence.
If your ex tries to draw your ire by posting negative comments about you, don't be sucked into a petty online battle. Refrain from posting retaliatory remarks and immediately unfriend him or her.
Start an all-out war on your ex through the power of online cluster bombs, however, and you can expect a counterattack. The resulting battles will make both of you appear immature and unstable. The online explosions might make for good theater, but both of you will pay for public attack and retribution.