Social media has provided a proverbial microphone for anyone with something to say. The relative anonymity and lack of face-to-face contact that Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms often motivate personal attacks and over-sharing of personal information.
Couples divorcing are particularly susceptible to this type of behavior. The false reality that revolves around social media posts can be particularly upsetting during the divorce process. Emotionally charged changes in life can bring out the worst in the most rational of soon-to-be ex-spouses. The compulsion to trash your partner in an effort to feel better and to “win” may be tempting, however, if you want to keep that post from coming back to hurt you in your divorce or custody case, restraint should be exercised.
Countless studies reveal the negative impact on marriage, let alone marital dissolution. An obsession with social media takes face-to-face time away from your spouse and family. A Computers in Human Behavior study identified a link between social media use and reduced quality in marriages. Conversely, those who avoid social media are 11 percent happier in their unions.
Additional stats include:
- One in five divorces in the U.S. occur due to spouses discovering cheating on social media posts or messages (Loyola University Health System)
- Eighty-one percent of divorce lawyers find a treasure trove of online evidence of this form of bad behavior (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers)
The best advice is obvious, yet highly difficult for individuals to follow in this modern age. Disconnect from social media and focus on yourself and your children until the finalization of the proceedings In the meantime, pursue other healthy interests and family-focused activities.
Should you decide to remain active on social media, avoid inflammatory posts. Log off if you are particularly upset. Reaching out to close family members, friends, a therapist, or a divorce coach can help to keep drama to a minimum. Divorce is a high-stakes process that can turn cooperation into an online brawl memorialized for eternity.