Bangalore: With a 23-year-old Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, student committing suicide after her boyfriend quietly dumped her by updating his status on a social networking site, the need to discuss the minutiae of Facebook break-up etiquette has become more pressing.
Of late, incidents of couples washing their dirty linen on social networking sites have risen in the city.
The case of Malini Murmu, a first year MBA student at the IIM-B, has only gone on to prove that the growing trend of people rushing to update their Facebook status immediately after a breakup, may prompt their partners to take the extreme step.
The 23-year-old student of IIM Bangalore hung herself as her boyfriend had shouted at her and used foul language.
According to relationship experts and psychologists, even sordid tales of lost love are being made public on these social networking sites, which is a disturbing trend.
Colleges and institutes should come forward to tackle this virtual menace gripping their campus and hold discussions with students: on whether one should delete pictures of his ex after splitting up?
Is it ok to unfriend your last girlfriend if you can't stop looking at her profile? And is it ever ethical to change relationship status to single without notifying the person you are dumping?
Love gone awry
After Malini had a fight with her boyfriend, she locked herself up in her hostel room. On noticing her absence from class, her close friends went to see what was wrong.
Despite knocking repeatedly at the door to room no 421, there was no response from her side.
Gripped by panic, the students informed the security guards who broke open the door only to see her body hanging from the ceiling fan.
A case of abetment to suicide was filed at the Mico Layout police station and the investigations began. "She had not attended any classes that day and it seems like a case of disappointment in love.
She had just returned from Delhi and had a fight with her boy friend, a certain person called Abhishek. In her suicide note, found on her laptop, Malini mentioned that the boy had shouted at her and used foul language.
This seems to have prompted her to take the extreme step," said Police Inspector Mohan Kumar of Mico Layout police station.
The investigating officer explained the reason behind the suicide. "Her boyfriend also put up a status message on Facebook, stating: 'Feeling super cool today.
Dumped my new ex-girlfriend. Happy Independence Day.' This embarrassment forced her to end her life. Her body has been handed over to her parents and will be airlifted to Ranchi," said Sub-Inspector Mirza Hali of Mico Layout police station.
The institution, however, has maintained a very discreet stand on the matter. "Malini Murmu, 23, hailed from Jamshedpur and was found dead in her hostel room. Malini came to IIM-B last June, having worked at Infosys after completing her BTech from KIIT.
We have lost a bright young person in the prime of her life. On behalf of the entire IIM-B community, Professor Pankaj Chandra, director, has conveyed the deepest distress on behalf of every member of the community to Malini's parents, family and friends.
The Bangalore police are investigating what appears to be a case of suicide," said N Bringi Dev, head, Communication, IIM-B.
Relationship psychologists, conducting counselling sessions at schools and colleges to avoid such incidents, say institutes have to change their attitude towards such problems and be frank enough to discuss the matter with students. "Cases of breakup through social networking sites are increasing by the day in Bangalore.
With relationships starting and ending on Facebook, youngsters do not realise that public embarrassment often may drive people to kill themselves," said Rathna Jain, a relationship psychologist.
Another psychologist said, "We should teach them about break-up etiquette and how they can move on in life and still stay friends on Facebook, sharing niceties on the social networking sites.
And to help youngsters envision what a healthy split might look like, they should be informed how several celebrity couples managed amicable breakups.
The break-up of Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz was healthy because "they're still friends and were able to co-star in a movie together."