Social media gives users the power to reach a large audience. Their audience is typically family, friends and close associates. However, with great power comes great responsibility. The power to reach all the people you know and care about with your opinions, jokes, observations and comments can have serious repercussions if you are not careful. This is especially true if you are going through a divorce.
Social media is evidence
It's hard for many to understand just how large their audience can be. Many people believe they are just talking to a small group of friends and family. However, unless you have taken certain precautions, almost anybody can access your social media posts. This can include employers, school officials and law enforcement.
If you are divorcing, you should be very selective about what you post. Here are some things to remember before you hit the submit button:
- Slandering your ex-spouse - While you may feel that outing your ex for their adultery may be justified, if that information causes your ex to lose a job or a promotion, they may be able to take action against you. Also, family and friends who are close to both of you may be offended.
- Oversharing/incriminating yourself - You may want to demonstrate your new independence now that you are separated. If this means posting photos of late night parties, drinking alcohol or doing other reckless activities, it could come back to bite you. If you are seeking full or even joint custody, these types of photos do not show responsibility as a parent. These photos can also harm job prospects.
- Humble-bragging - While this sort of online behavior may not directly impact your divorce, it can anger your ex and complicate your divorce. Posts and photos of a better life without your ex, going on a date or memes talking about how bad marriage is can indicate that you want to fight.
Social media is not only what you post, but what you delete. Deleting your whole account or messages that you previously posted can look like you are deleting evidence. Using social media during a divorce can be a slippery slope and should be used cautiously.