In Depth

Internet reacts to Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's split

Social media deluged with jokes about the 'conscious uncoupling', but some publications express compassion

COLDPLAY front man Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow have announced they will separate after ten years of marriage.

In a post on Paltrow's lifestyle website Goop, the couple announced their decision under the headline: "Conscious uncoupling". The post said that the decision to separate had been reached with "hearts full of sadness" and asked that their privacy be respected during "this difficult time".

The post said: "We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate."

It continued: "We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been. We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner."

The Daily Mail speculated that the couple would try to "keep things as normal as possible" for the sake of their children, Apple and Moses, "which means they will surely continue to move in the same circles and maintain mutual friends – preventing a potentially messy argument over who gets to keep Beyonce and Jay Z."

Meanwhile many people took to social media to make jokes: "Rumour has it that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's split was caused by their son Moses" @JillBidenVeep tweeted. Another twitter user @Brentweets wrote "Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are getting a divorce... Wasn't Apple's life hard enough already?"

Alyssa Rosenberg, writing for the Washington Post says that jokes on social media were a reaction to Paltrow's seeming "smugness" about the "perfect life" she depicts on her Goop website: "The tide of Gwynethfreude that is breaking over the internet is particularly tsunami-like because, since founding her newsletter Goop in 2008, part of Paltrow's business has been telling other women how to live glamorous and complete lives."

But, Rosenberg concludes, many may ultimately feel some melancholy over the break-up, because it reflects uncertainly in all our relationships. "If talented, seemingly pleasant people can see their marriages fail, then maybe none of us know any secrets. And maybe none of us can have it all," she writes.

In a rare moment of compassion, Vice published an article titled "For once we shouldn't laugh at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin".

The publication says that even though the phrase "conscious uncoupling" is "pretty funny" there is a sadness about any break-up, and that Paltrow and Martin are just "two very famous people who had two very human children, and are trying very hard to find a way to still be a family; to let the crack down the middle of them feel like more of a seam".

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