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(Jupiterimages/(C) 2008 Jupiterimages)
(Jupiterimages/(C) 2008 Jupiterimages)

Personal Tech

How to erase your ex from the Internet Add to ...

"Clementine Kruczynski has had Joel Barish erased from her memory. Please never mention their relationship to her again. - Thank you."

So read the note sent to Joel and Clementine's mutual friends in the 2004 flick Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which tells the story of two people who undergo medical memory cleansing to get over a painful break-up.

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But in the age of Web 2.0, purging all traces of a former lover from your life requires a lot more than a clinical procedure.

For those who can't stop themselves from creeping their exes on Facebook, obsessively reading their tweets or Googling them, the fix is in.

Washington-based creative group Jess3 launched Ex-Blocker last week. Download it from blockyourex.com, enter in your ex's name, Twitter handle, Facebook page and blog URL and the plugin for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox runs a script that erases all traces of your former squeeze from the Net.

"The amount of authentic data [online]really breeds opportunities for search," Leslie Bradshaw, Jess3's president, explains. "[Ex-Blocker]kind of 'Spotless Minds' your computer."

Brenna Ehrlich, a 25-year-old Web journalist in New York (and one of the acerbic voices behind Stuff Hipsters Hate), inspired the development of the plugin after discussing the urge to obsessively look up exes online with members of the Jess3 team.

When things went sour on Sunday with a guy she had been dating, she was quick to install it. Ms. Ehrlich says looking up exes may seem harmless, but it hinders the recovery process.

"It's a way to pick at your scars, to reopen old wounds and it's really harmful because you don't get past these old heartaches," she says. "It just becomes more fresh every time you go look at their pictures or see if they have a girlfriend."

 

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