Venting about feelings to close friends is often a healthy way to process the difficult emotions that come with divorce. But when you express anger, rage and heartbreak to hundreds of social media followers, you risk legal complications and reduce your risk of achieving an amicable end to your marriage.
These are the key reasons to consider taking a break from Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts during this transition.
Limited privacy control
You may think that only designated “friends” can see a post about your ex-spouse, but privacy settings on social media are notoriously difficult to use and tricky to master. The risk of accidentally posting an emotional rant to everyone you know (including your former in-laws) is high. What is more, anyone who sees your post can take a screenshot and share it regardless of privacy settings.
Increased risk of conflict
Your goal is to save time and money by pursuing a collaborative divorce. You still have fond feelings for your former spouse, even though the marriage did not work out, and you want the process to be as painless as possible. Unfortunately, social media can compromise the likelihood of a peaceful coexistence with your ex-spouse. Whether one person posts images with a new partner or simply celebrates his or her newly single lifestyle online, the potential for hurt feelings and resulting legal conflict increases.
Shielding your children
Most parents share images and videos of their children on social media, but the fact is that babies, toddlers and preschoolers cannot consent to displaying their photos publicly online. Older children may be extra sensitive about what their parents share online, especially as they navigate the challenging life changes that accompany divorce. Consider coming to an agreement with your ex-spouse about what you each will and will not share about your kids online.
When taking a break from social media, try completely deleting the apps from your phone. If you need to actually get on a computer and log onto Facebook or Instagram, you will likely lose the urge to make posts and check your feed and notifications.