As with so many other aspects of modern life, the emergence of social media has had a huge impact on relationships—more specifically, the end of relationships. In fact, as CNBC reports, multiple studies have consistently linked social media use with an increase in divorce rates. Social media can also create complications for couples in the process of separating as battling lawyers look for dirt. Divorce Magazine even suggests that people have lost custody battles due to their ill-advised postings on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.
However, social media is neither positive nor negative; it’s merely a tool. As long as you use it appropriately and respectfully both during and after divorce, you don’t have to fear someone eventually using your posts as a weapon against you. Let’s explore some basic social media etiquette for divorcing or separating couples.
Keep Your Private Details Private
The biggest mistake people make with social media is assuming what they post is not public. Even with privacy settings on, people find creative ways to uncover what you’re putting online. As a rule of thumb, assume everything you post online is both public and permanent. Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your ex (or his lawyers) to see, from finances to flirtations.
Avoid Bashing Your Ex
We all need to “vent” from time to time; for divorcing or separating couples, Facebook is not the place to do it. Complaining to your social media friends about the latest fight with your ex, or sharing the laundry list of everything that’s wrong with the ex, can only generate more bad blood. (Don’t forget the kids might be watching, too.) Show the same kind of respect you’d want to be given.
Don’t Block Your Ex, Either
Some people assume blocking or “un-friending” an ex gives them the freedom to share online. In fact, it only generates more animosity, making it more difficult to settle—not to mention it might raise suspicions. Keep your ex in the social media loop—just behave yourself.
Facebook has created a whole generation of voyeurs; don’t be one of them. Especially after you’ve parted ways, resist the temptation to check up on your ex, and don’t start Googling his new friends. Connecting the dots the wrong way can lead to unnecessary hard feelings. You want your own life; let your ex have his.
Freed Marcroft encourages proper social media etiquette as part of our strategy to help you move on after divorce into a fuller, richer life. To learn more, contact our offices today.