Mar 19, 2019
Your Divorce and Social Media Etiquette
Social Media and Divorce
In the past, news about your pending divorce might take a while to travel. Not today. Details about your entire life are instantly available to the world thanks to social media.
If you or your family have a social media presence on popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you might be unsure about the best way to talk about your divorce online. Here are some tips to help you practice post-divorce Internet etiquette – for your sake, your ex’s, and for everyone else.
Lock down your social media
First, collect your thoughts, and collect any pictures and posts that you might not want others to see. Delete or make private any risqué or negative posts. Your reasons could be innocent; perhaps it’s too painful for you to revisit certain pictures or posts right now. Or you could have a more urgent reason, such as an online argument that might be embarrassing for you.
Also, run through your friends lists and remove anybody you think might try to start drama or act as a “spy” for your ex-spouse. Make your account completely private and change your passwords if you want the ultimate sense of security.
Don’t Block, Bash or Brag
Unfortunately, many people feel they can say anything on social media rather than in person. This feeling leads to comments and posts that cause later regret. If you bash your ex on your Facebook wall or block them from your Instagram, this can lead to tension between you, your family and friends. Especially if you still need to work out legal or financial agreements.
Just as bad is posting about how great your life is now that you two have split up. You don’t want your school-age children to see all the rude things you said. No matter how you might feel, resist adding to the pain your kids may already feel from the divorce.
Think Before You Share
If you want to share details about your divorce proceedings, share them offline, and only to people you really trust. Otherwise, anyone from your old high school classmates to a potential employer could read all your most personal experiences.
If you can, make a pact with your ex-spouse to not post anything directly related to your divorce. In addition, consider agreeing on the how you post about your children on social media. If your children are old enough to have their own social media accounts, include them in the agreement.
There’s nothing as addicting as snooping through someone’s social media. But try to hold back from peeking while you’re going through divorce. If you focus only on what your ex is doing, you will add tension and anxiety to already-stressful divorce proceedings.
Now that you’ve split up with your spouse, put your energy into adapting to life as a single, independent person. Dwelling on the past will ensure you never leave it. Resist the urge to use your spouse’s password and make sure you change all of yours
Remember the phrase “The Internet is forever”? It means that anything you post can be used against you in the future, and this includes in court. Say you’re upset about your ex moving on quickly, and so you share private details about their life on Twitter to get revenge on them.
Or maybe you decide to celebrate your newfound singlehood and post lots of pictures on Instagram of yourself drinking and partying with friends. Lawyers will jump at the chance to use these posts as evidence in custody or financial battles. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, over 80% of divorce attorneys report a rise in cases that use social media as evidence. Don’t create legal trouble for yourself and be careful of the things you share!
Choose a Calm Narrative
We all choose pictures and comments for our social media that make us look our best, so do the same for your divorce. Craft a statement that you can post everywhere that summarizes your situation without giving too much away.
If you can, talk with your spouse to decide on how to best announce your divorce. You could post separately on your own accounts or compose a letter together. Some couples even take a post-divorce picture together. Even if your relationship isn’t great, both of your reputations will benefit if you both write something concise and civil.
You’ll avoid awkward questions and give yourself some catharsis. Your explanations also help promote the idea that a divorce is not a source of shame and failure. And as you go through your ordeal, it’s good to remind yourself of that.
For more articles on this topic, check these links:
Social Media Mistakes During Divorce
©2019 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation