Social Media can be our very best friend or our worst enemy. Remember how excited you were when Facebook connected you to your long lost second grade buddy? Now, imagine your mortification when a photo of you holding your middle fingers up at a photo of your ex-husband with devil horns drawn on his head circulates at your divorce proceeding.
The good thing and the bad thing about social media is that it’s everywhere for anyone to see anytime they want. Remember the old warning, “don’t drink and dial?” Today’s mantra is: Don’t divorce and post on social media.
Remember: Whatever you put on social media is there forever. There is no such thing as delete. So, while it might seem fun to rant on Twitter when the mood strikes you or post a sketchy photo on Facebook that might not be for all audiences, know that this information can be used against you. I gave my children this exact advice before I let them open up an Instagram account and I remind them of this on a weekly basis.
Here are some social media don’ts during divorce. While some might seem obvious, they bear repeating because they happen way too often.
- Don’t post any pictures of yourself if you or anyone you’re with is drunk or otherwise compromised. Don’t post pictures of illegal substances or paraphernalia.
- Don’t post anything on social media until you’ve looked up, read about and understand these three words: libel, slander and defamation.
- Don’t use Facebook as a way to complain about your awful ex. If your ex is truly awful, everyone will know by default. The truth always comes out. Take the high road and leave it off Facebook.
One more thing to consider before you post, feelings can change. You may be super upset today, but with time and perhaps a new attitude, you might think differently. You’d hate to know that you posted something hateful somewhere and it’s there for life. If you’re feeling upset, it’s better to write something down on a piece of paper, read it aloud and then throw it away.
Here are some positive ways to use social media after your divorce.
- Find an online support group in your area. Talking with others that have gone through the same experience will give you a safe place to vent and get advice.
- Find inspirational people to follow on Facebook and Twitter. Instead of always thinking about the bad things in divorce, find some good things to help you move forward.
- Subscribe to blogs that offer positive post divorce advice or advice on single parenting. Sometimes others find ways to make what might seem daunting, seem more manageable.