break-up A senior Facebook engineer, Lars Backstrom, and Cornell University researcher Jon Kleinberg presented an interesting paper at a social computing conference earlier this year.

The researchers analyzed over 1.3 million Facebook users and found that partners who shared the same social circle were more likely to break up than couples who had fewer friends in common.

They called the phenomenon “dispersion,” and couples who had friends who weren’t well connected were said to have high dispersion, and that was a good thing. Couples with shared friends who were well connected were said to have low dispersion, and they were more likely to break up.

In a way this makes perfect sense. In my experience, happy couples tend to have very similar values and personalities, but very different interests. Otherwise, they would just end up talking about the same thing every day.

I’d even recommend that happy couples spend as much time apart as possible. I went as far as to build a “panic room” in my basement, which is really just a sound-proof den of tranquility where I can hide and block out the endless chatter of my wife and kids.

It’s also a safe place where I can watch bestiality and midget porn as loudly as I want without my wife realizing what a sick and disgusting person she married.