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April 22, 2020

The Bizarre World of Virtual Breakups

This is the strangest, most unnatural time to date people. We are literally forbidden to see other people face to face. But does that stop our teens? Well of course not. Thanks to the help of our trusty sidekick technology, we can turn any interpersonal activity into a virtual experience. Church meetings, school, hangouts—everything is happening virtually now in this weird new life we all share, usually on Zoom. So it’s not really a surprise that our teens are still dating each other on Zoom (or text, or social media, or FaceTime).

But where there’s virtual love, there’s bound to be virtual heartbreak. Welcome to the new and cold-hearted way to break up: zumping.

(By the way, we’re hosting a live webinar on dating! Check out our Facebook page at 2:00 pm MT Friday, April 24.)

What in the world is ‘zumping’?!

‘Zumping’ was originally coined by The Guardian to refer to someone who’s been dumped via Zoom. The first girl to be ‘zumped’ is supposedly Julia Moser, who inquired of her 5k followers:

But that’s not all. If you’re not much of a zoomer, not to fear! There are plenty of other ways to impersonally break the heart of your significant other. Over FaceTime it’s referred to as ‘Facetumped,’ and through Houseparty it’s ‘Housepumped.’ If your kid has said any of these new words lately leaving you completely baffled, hopefully that clears it up a bit.

Isn’t ‘zumping’ a little harsh?

Having the person you’ve dated for weeks, months or years dump you without so much as a hug to soften the blow? Yeah, it’s pretty harsh. It’s a particularly jarring way to end a romance, as there’s no physical contact between the dumper and the dump-ee, and the heartbreak happens while you watch yourself crying on screen. Yikes.

If your teen has recently been zumped (or Facetumped or Housepumped), try to be sensitive. Because getting broken up with is hard enough without the added disappointment and realization that they might not even get to see their boyfriend or girlfriend again. (Until the next school year, maybe.) It’s one of the most insensitive ways to end a relationship, but it’s happening a lot more than you might think. So go get their favorite treat, put on a good movie, and sit with them in their sorrow.

The Culture Translator

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