Social media has evolved from posts on message boards to a popular form of communication. Many users tend to overshare their problems, taking a “woe is me” approach. For those going through a divorce, social media accounts should be used carefully, if at all.
Even before the formal split, arguments appear on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets in front of large audiences of friends, family, and even strangers. This type of online over-sharing only makes a bad situation worse. Emotions run high. Soon-to-be exes want to vent to someone. Lacking a kind voice and a shoulder to cry on, far too many fires up their smartphones and click on their favorite platform.
Fostering a toxic environment
According to various organizations, few things wreak havoc on marriage than social media:
- Computers in Human Behavior released a study on the role of social media and significantly reduces marriage quality; those that avoid online posting and interactions tend to be 11 percent happier than regular users.
- The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) cites that more than 80 percent of divorce attorneys see their clients conducting detailed online searches for any signs of cheating in person or online.
- The Loyola University Health System named Facebook as responsible for 20 percent of all divorces.
Should the need to be on social media persist, the following will help keep the peace:
- Change privacy settings – No matter how secure you think you are, nothing online is private. Keep the friends list exclusive to those you know and trust.
- Remove relationship status – The “about me” section does not have to provide every bit of information, mainly if the divorce process is still ongoing.
- Avoid divorce-related posts – Avoid mentioning any aspect of your divorce case, regardless if you are in agreement or in a heated dispute with your spouse.
- Digging for dirt – While tempting, conducting your investigation about your spouse will only make an already contentious process that much worse.
Divorce presents numerous challenges without adding online drama to the mix.