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Couple breaks up on YouTube: Brilliant or exhibitionist?

A Brooklyn couple posted a “breakup video” to YouTube, letting all their friends (and the world) know that their “train has stopped.”


Fancy your breakup going viral?

A Brooklyn couple got exactly that after they posted a "breakup video" to YouTube, letting all their friends (and the world) know that their "train has stopped."

Posted last week, "We've Got To Break Up" has been viewed more than 650,000 times. "Yes, it's true folks. Ivory and I are splitting up. It's really sad. I'm really sad," reads the caption from Jonathan Mann, a New Yorker who posts a new song everyday to YouTube. (The breakup song is number 1435.)

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The amicable separation-by-video sees the musical couple duet on harmonica and clarinet, sync up choreographed dance moves and warble alternate lines: "I want to have kids," he sings. "And I really don't," she replies. "I wish that she would some day," he says, "But I really won't," she answers. "So we've got to break up," they trill together. The deal-breaking argument is had in subdued tones, like most arguments are after you've had them a billion times.

The two also offer instructions to their mutual friends: "And breaking up's a mess, so please be there for us. You don't have to choose though it'll be awkward, yes. Invite us to your parties, we will work it out. Don't feel weird, we love all of you."

For the couple, YouTube was the best venue to announce the news.

"I didn't want to make a post on Facebook and have that be it," Mann told the New York Daily News. "And I didn't want to have to explain it over and over to people, because that can be really painful."

Mann told the paper he hoped his final act with Ivory would be "cathartic," but he's still bummed out, as his most recent video shows.

While certainly sweeter than an abrupt Facebook status update, the video is stunningly exhibitionist, even if the two have perfected the art of civil separation. In the end, the Internet breakup might also be the logical conclusion to every engagement proposal prank posted to YouTube.

Viewers have been mixed on the project, with some criticizing the preciousness of the exercise. Others thought it a welcome alternative to the usual breakup moves: "Congrats on not being psycho bitter souls," wrote one at the Daily News.

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Of course, the video has yielded the songwriter his much sought-after exposure: Mann's been thanking fans for their support on his Twitter page for days, while a biographical video sees him elaborately enumerating which of his other 1,000-plus songs have gone viral. (Steve Jobs was a fan of one.) This, coupled with the duo's blasé facial expressions in their breakup video, means the whole thing doesn't quite feel emotionally truthful.

Is YouTube a good way to tell your loved ones about the collapse of a relationship?

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