Are social networks such as Twitter and Facebook part of your daily diet? They make it super easy to stay in touch but it’s also super easy to post an update you’ll regret later. Divorce coach Tara from Relative Evolutions says there are many reasons why people dealing with the end of their marriage should consider dropping social media during divorce. Here’s Tara:
Consider Social Severance
Especially during difficult periods, it’s not easy to imagine life without the support of hundreds of close friends at the tips of your fingers. However, a break from the digital drama might serve you well. Consider unplugging, if only for a short time, and surround yourself with real-life friends and family who can comfort or entertain you with their presence and undivided attention instead of a mere click of the “like” button. When it comes to your emotional needs, it’s easy to get a quick fix by posting to the masses and waiting for a response. Yet, it’s far more nourishing to hold a hand or cry on the shoulder of someone who truly loves you.
Bite Your Fingers
Emotional posting is the social equivalent of drunk dialing. In a fit of anger, jealousy or even joy, it’s easy to say something that’s better left unsaid. Or, at least, not said to hundreds of people who have the ability to copy, paste and share. Before you type, consider an older and wiser version of yourself reflecting on what you’re about to do. What does Older-And-Wiser-You think about your intended action? Is this something you’ll regret in the morning?
Beware of Twisted Interpretations
Let’s say you post some amusing pictures of your kids in the bathtub. That’s cute and funny, right? Or is it pornographic? How might your ex’s lawyer label it? What if your ex’s new partner posts pictures of your kids in the bathtub? What might you and your lawyer say about that? Either way, someone is publishing naked pictures of children on the internet. Think about it.
Keep Your Content G-Rated. Consider The Following…
Verbal Violence: Disparaging remarks are never cool. For starters, they put your mutual friends in a very uncomfortable position. Second, judges are beginning to frown on such slander. And what happens when your kids find out that you said their daddy was a $%&*? It doesn’t matter if they aren’t “friends” of yours- they could easily find out in school from a classmate whose aunt commented on your post.
Drug Use: How often do you post about drinking wine? How many of your friends are featured smoking cigarettes? Photos from Single Ladies Night Out are fun, but they aren’t everyone’s business. Glassy eyes, smeared mascara and grinding with strange men provide evidence enough for many snap judgments that can and will be used against you- possibly in a court of law.
Sex: How about sexy pictures of you and your new beau? Where are his hands? Is it necessary for hundreds of people to see you making out in a hot tub? What does that say about the value you place on intimate personal relationships? Exactly what are you advertising?
Scrutinize Security Settings
Given the considerations above, it’s best to adjust your settings so you can approve or deny any attempts to label your likeness. As your real-life relationships change, it’s also a good idea to perform periodic reviews of your social connections. Do you think everyone should have the same viewing rights regarding the content you publish? Consider your personal safety and privacy…is there anyone you need to disconnect from or block entirely?
The Divorce Coach Says
My own view is that online communities are a valuable source of support and guidance during divorce and you don’t need to abstain from these. You do however, need to use a pseudonym to protect your privacy and be discreet–while it’s OK to pose questions related to how shared parenting works or how a particular asset may be split, it’s not a good idea to vent about your STBX’s behavior.
Tara Eisenhard is an ex-wife and the child of cooperatively divorced parents. From these life experiences came her belief that families can evolve, not dissolve, through the process. Tara blogs at Relative Evolutions.com, tweets @RelativEvolutns and welcomes comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tara shared her own life after divorce story with me back in March 2010 – if you’d like to find out more about the person behind this post start reading with An unhappy marriage is not the end.