According to a survey, 8 percent of Italians think it's OK to break up with someone via text message (like Carrie Underwood and Chace Crawford famously did earlier this year). But Italians also think manpris are OK, so perhaps this isn't an issue with room for a dialectic.

Are e-mailed see-yas any better than texts? A survey by Google found that about the same percentage of people had done just that.

"Just because it's easy does not mean breaking up with someone via text or e-mail is ever acceptable," says Susan RoAne, author of "Face to Face: How to Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World." "There's no tone, no context for what the other person is reading, and that prevents them from preserving any dignity."

Which makes me whine, "Buttt I don't wannnnna confront the weirdo I've been seeing for the past two months who I thought would get less weird and never did."

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My friend Blair agrees: "For ending something that's a few weeks old, I tend to send a carefully worded text so he gets the idea. Something like 'I have a lot on my mind right now,' which leaves me room to resurrect the relationship if I want to."

While most people realize that ending a serious commitment via text or e-mail is brutal, there's more to debate during the early stages. I generally err on the side of breaking things off electronically -- which is why I was stopped in my tracks when RoAne reminded me of one teensy little fact: "If it's in writing, it'll be passed along to the dumpee's friends to show what a jerk you are."

Like hell do I want to be the topic of an afternoon e-mail chain whose participants hate my guts for ending things so poorly. Game, set, match: You win, etiquette.













Tell us!
Is a digital dis ever kinder than an actual conversation? Have you ever been dumped by e-mail or by text? Leave your thoughts in the comments.





Emme Martin is Lemondrop's online etiquette columnist.