Archive | May, 2013

Going through a Divorce and Use Social Media? Must Read!

9 May

As social media continues to expand into every aspect of our lives, it is expanding into areas never traversed before, such as the courts and the rest of the legal system. In fact, it is estimated that up to 80 percent of divorce attorneys use social media as evidence to support their case against the other party at some point in the proceeding. Whether you post a party picture to Instagram or a send out a potentially inflammatory Tweet, many items posted online can be interpreted against you and damage your case. Anything you place online that is publicly available is reachable and useable by the opposing side. Read below for tips on protecting your digital and real self.

  1. Consider taking a social media “break”. Sounds ridiculous, right? How did we ever survive without pinning and Facebooking? But consider it. Though you will need the support of family and friends during this difficult time, a break from these sites gives more incentive to communicate in person or over the phone – which is far more supportive than a quick wall post or thumbs up. If you cannot bring yourself to deactivate your profile entirely, consider disabling your wall or public posting, and use social media sites as a contact tool only.
  2.  Block your ex from your posts. You will have to communicate with him or her at times, especially if there are children involved, but he or she does not need a constant update on your activities. Many times you can limit the audience on a specific post, but blocking an ex from these updates overall prevents any potential “oops” moments. And a post accidentally seen by an ex may not be noticed by you until it is far too late to delete it permanently from memory.
  3. Watch out for check ins and tags. Resist the urge to check in at that sports bar or allow any friends to do it for you. Change your settings so you have to review any tagged photos before they can be seen by others. It is also a good idea disassociate your mobile phone’s location with your social media accounts. A harmless picture or post can become not so harmless when it is stamped with your exact location.
  4. Change your passwords! This is especially important if you shared a computer before separating. Change your password to your email, all social media sites, and even the lock code on your cell phone. It may sound like overkill, but many divorcing individuals have found certain accounts “altered” without their knowledge.

In addition to these hints, remember, above all else, stop and think before you click. Divorce is a difficult time, and social media “accidents” can complicate matters further. Find support away from the keyboard, and move forward with dignity!