Google Shares the Love, Facebook Shares the Stats

GoogleVDayGoogle joined forces with Ira Glass and This American Life to produce this year’s Valentine’s Day Google Doodle.  When you click on a candy heart, you hear a (true) short love story, accompanied by animations.

Google has a dedicated Google Doodle team, and recently added engineering staff to the team so they could move beyond the static image.

Facebook has been posting relationship-related stories all week from their Data Science team, and today’s post gives some insights on frequency of posts between two people who are getting ready to change their Facebook relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship”:

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts (“day 0”), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship.

What exactly is going on twelve days before people “make it official”?  The Facebook Data Team speculates people may be spending more time in person instead.  I’m sure, however, some of these relationships are be long-distance… perhaps people are switching to more texting and talking on the phone?  Or perhaps the communications are becoming more intimate, so they’re not shared publicly.  It could also be that as you know you’re heading to exclusivity, you expend less courtship energy.

Having met my husband in the days before texting and Facebook, I sometimes wonder what would be different about our early days of dating.   Does anyone save their texts or Facebook messages?  Or are these new methods of courting ephemeral, like talking on the phone?

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