Divorce is difficult and can leave you feeling even more lonely and isolated than you did during your marriage.For many people, social media becomes an outlet during this time of stress, where they connect with friends and family and find the support of people who have been or are going through similar situations.And while social media can be a great tool and a lot of fun, there are some things you need to keep in mind for your social media profiles during your divorce. Not being careful with your social profiles can backfire during your divorce, causing more problems than your angry vent solved.Here are 7 social media mistakes to avoid during your divorce:
Not Changing Passwords
In a marriage, a couple shares a lot of things. A home, finances, and potentially even the passwords to social media and email accounts. You and your spouse may not share these passwords directly, but you may have them saved on a computer so that you don’t have to remember those passwords every time you sign on.However, when you begin the process of divorce, giving another person – even your spouse – access to these accounts can be disastrous. A hurt or vindictive person could send messages that damage your relationships and reputation or even get you into trouble. And there’s a lot of information your ex can find out just by looking through your emails and social media messages.As soon as you decide to file for divorce, or as soon as you know your spouse is, change the passwords on all your social media and email accounts, on your phone, and on your computer. If you own Apple devices, unlink your text messages and remove yourself from the Apple ID account.This may seem paranoid, but it’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the passwords on your personal accounts.
Not Opening New Accounts
Many spouses share accounts, whether they be email accounts or cell phone plans.This is convenient during a marriage, as it allows both partners access, but it can be a bad thing during a divorce.Rather than waiting to open a new email account or get your own cell phone plan until the divorce is finalized, it may be a good idea to start fresh sooner. Many attorneys, for example, communicate with clients largely through email. If you still share an account with your spouse, these communications won’t be considered confidential and that can pose logistical problems in your divorce.And, if you and your ex still share a cell phone plan, it gives them access to track who’s calling you, who you’re sending text messages to, and possibly even where you’re going.
Taking Selfies at the Courthouse
You may feel a lot of relief at getting your divorce rolling, or even finalized. Just don’t let that relief translate into taking and posting a selfie at the courthouse.If you must post about your day in court, wait until you’re home, hours later, to post something. And definitely avoid tagging the courthouse in your post.
Badmouthing Your Ex
The divorce process is emotional, and it can be made even more frustrating when your ex fights you every step of the way.But taking to social media to vent or post sly memes, especially if your profile is public or you are still friends with your ex’s family or friends, is not the way to deal with the frustration. Any post is grounds for misinterpretation under the right conditions, and that misinterpretation can lead to a prolonged battle and ever-increasing legal fees.If you must vent your frustrations, stick to chats with a trusted friend or two instead of airing it all publicly.
Allowing Yourself to Be Tagged in Inappropriate Content
With social media being so, well, social, you, unfortunately, have to worry about what other people are posting about as well as what you’re posting about. If you’re tagged in party photos that include lots of alcohol and it’s on a night when your children are in your care, your ex or someone they know could see those photos, causing trouble for your custody battle. Or, if a friend or family member of yours decides to publicly vent their frustration and anger over your divorce, tagging you in the post, that could get back to your ex and make them dig into their position more, prolonging your divorce.To prevent this from happening, change your profile settings so you either can’t be tagged in posts or so you have to approve any posts you’re tagged in before they show up in your feed. This allows you to still be tagged in the photos from your family’s holiday party, but to avoid that rant your friend posted about your ex’s cheating.
Posting, Texting, or Emailing Things That Come Back to Bite You
Electronic communications are great for the immediacy they provide, allowing people on opposite sides of the world to connect at any time of day. But that immediacy also is one of the downfalls of electronic communication, as too many people don’t stop and think before they hit “Send” or “Post.”When you’re in the middle of a divorce, not stopping to think can be problematic. Letting yourself post or send something said in anger can come back to bite you in court in the form of evidence, or can anger your ex to the point where they prolong proceedings out of principle.Rather than immediately posting or responding to that email that gets under your skin, walk away from the computer or phone for a while.When your ex emails or texts you, for example, make it a practice to not respond any sooner than two hours after you read the communication, except in the rare case where an immediate response is necessary. This will give you a little cooling-off time to respond rationally instead of in anger, and avoid a potential conflict.
Using Your Friends As Spies
It can be extremely tempting to call on the friends and family members still connected to your ex via social media for information. But that not only forces those friends to decide which person they’re loyal to, and it can give you the information you’d rather not know.Make it a policy that you won’t check up on your ex, either using your own social media sleuthing skills or by asking your friends for information, and you’ll get through your divorce with a lot more peace of mind than if you’re constantly keeping tabs on them.