Has anyone been a victim of this? Or have you done this somebody?? I found this a fascinating read... from today's WSJ by Jeff Zaslow Rebekka Olsen is just 26 years old, but she recalls the days when people used to say: "This is not a conversation to hold on the phone. This is something we'll need to discuss in person." That is why, when things weren't working out recently with a man she was dating, she assumed it required one of those uncomfortable face-to-face talks. Before she could arrange it, however, the man sent her a cellphone text message: "Chek yr email." So she did. His email read: "This is getting too serious. I think we should stop seeing each other. If we could still be friends, it would make me real happy." Floored by the fact that she was being dumped by email, Ms. Olsen ignored him. A few hours later, he sent another text message: "chk yr email yet?" There was a time when romances often ended in one final tearful embrace. But Ms. Olsen's techno brush-off -- her former beau even skimped on the vowels -- is common and concerning. Almost one in 10 cellphone users age 18 to 34 have "texted" someone out of their romantic lives, according to a survey released this week by Virgin Mobile USA. That stat doesn't even include emailed kiss-offs. Yes, the lack of face-to-face contact can avoid prickly encounters and get the deed done without bloodshed. But as we contemplate Valentine's Day 2007, it also is an indication that interpersonal relationships today are often less personal and more cowardly than they used to be. The techno brush-off has offshoots, too, that relationship experts find troubling. There is the techno-AWOL breakup, where a person doesn't answer emails or instant messages for however many days it takes for someone to get the hint. Meanwhile, 20% of singles say it is acceptable to reveal details about a breakup on Web logs, or blogs, or other Web outlets, such as MySpace or YouTube, according to a survey this year by relationships Web site Engage.com. "All the lines are blurring," laments Ms. Olsen, who works for a nonprofit educational organization in Boston. "There need to be new rules." Tour the Internet and you will find tens of thousands of breakup tales. Some are on sites such as Dontdatehimgirl.com or Ihateher.com. Many others are posted on people's personal blogs: "After we broke up, Jerk-Faced Liar admitted lying to me...." "I fell back on friends to console me...The day after the breakup, one said, in the snottiest possible voice: 'Sorry you guys broke up, but if you make us choose between you and him, we'll choose him.' " "Lolololol, god, im glad I broke up with her..." "He kissed my worst enemy. I forgave him. He called me ugly so many times. I forgave him..." "I hate him for betraying me and treating me like the sniveling, needy, spineless person I am." This trend in public revelations "may feel cathartic, but it's inappropriate," says Rebecca Morgan, who lectures and runs a Web site for singles older than age 40. She says ex-bashing blogs and text-messaged breakups aren't limited to young people. Mature singles and divorced people also use the Internet to write defamatory things about their exes. "It's a signal of how self-focused we've become," Ms. Morgan says. People who write about their breakups online risk having their anger or immature comments posted forever. They also risk legal action. Last year, Pittsburgh attorney Todd Hollis filed suit against dontdatehimgirl.com and several women who posted comments about him. The postings claimed he is "a poorly dressed womanizer" and that he had a sexually transmitted disease. Mr. Hollis says the charges are slanderous. After a breakup, "you've got to hide your computer for a few days," advises Scott Friedman, a motivational speaker who often appears before singles groups. "It's too dangerous to sit at the computer and write about how angry you are at your ex. You tend to exaggerate. You're better off just talking to a friend." Mr. Friedman says he knows what it is like to be dumped. Before singles groups, he tells the story of how he once dated a woman and things didn't feel right. He asked her: "Is there someone else?" She replied: "There's got to be." Mr. Friedman admits that, a few years ago, he broke up with a woman by email. "She said it was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to her," he recalls. He learned a lesson. More recently, he broke up with a woman face to face. "It was harder, she was upset, there were tears, but in the end, I felt better about it," he says. In the wake of techno-breakups, many people stage techno-recoveries. After getting dumped, 72% of people go online to search for other potential dating partners, according to a survey of 2,500 Yahoo! Personals users released last month. Ms. Olsen says that after she got her boyfriend's cryptic text message directing her to his break-up email, she didn't respond for 11 hours. Finally, he sent another text message: "I'm a big jrk. You hate me?" She insists she doesn't hate him. She just considers him a product of our times. "I hate what this has become," she says. "Every computer and cellular phone needs a little instruction manual to let people know what can be sent in a text, what can be sent in an email, what can be said on the phone, and what must be said in person."