Should you use social media during a separation?
Should you use social media during a separation? Social media can be a tricky terrain to navigate, especially whilst going through a difficult time.
In some instances, social media can help people find solace, speak with distant friends and relatives and even seek advice. However, social media has also built a reputation in being quite detrimental in some circumstances.
During a separation, it is your choice whether you continue to use social media or not. What is important, is that you ensure that the content of what you are posting is appropriate. Separation can be a time fuelled with a lot of emotion and if the process is not a smooth one, it can cause upset in the family. Maintaining our top tip of; ‘Think before you Post’, will hopefully allow you to continue using social media throughout this time.
To post or not to post?
There are a number of factors to consider when posting online during a sensitive time.
- Is the time right? Have you discussed what you are posting with your ex-partner?
Social media has made our lives more public than ever before, so make sure when it comes to changing your relationship status it is done together and not catching anyone unaware or causing conflict.
- Social media is not the place for airing “dirty laundry” and whilst the separation is underway, it is not a good idea to start publicly telling the world what you don’t like about your ex-partner. There may be a lot of emotions stored up, but try talking to friends or family about the more personal details before resorting to public naming and shaming.
- Don’t brag. Showing off to others, or your ex-partner, about how great things are might seem like a good idea, but it can cause animosity between parties and cloud judgement.
- Think. Who might read your social media posts? In 2016 it was revealed that over 60% of employers take a look at a candidate’s social media account. Do you want future employers seeing a negative side to you before you meet? Moreover, what about your children? Are they old enough to be online? You will want to make sure they see a united front and make their transition as stress-free as possible.
What’s out there…
Being active on social media isn’t just about what you’re posting. It’s about what you are seeing, liking and sharing too. Whilst it may help to be on social media and find groups of people going through similar situations to yourself, you might also find yourself wallowing in the negativity that can be found on all corners of social media.
If you are willingly exposing yourself to what your ex is saying, it may do more damage than good. Whatever their situation is, you need to be welcoming change into your life and not dwelling on the negative news of the past.
Whilst blocking them is an option, co-parenting and keeping one another in the loop really has the biggest positive impact. It would be a shame to let an argument via social media completely tear the two worlds apart.
Privacy is key
Social media is notoriously public, even when we think we’re doing all the right things to make our profile private it is still possible for news to get out. Sticking with the right friends on social media and avoiding contact with strangers can help to ensure your online community is a safe one.
Remember to change your passwords. Partners often share passwords when they are together, but having access to each other’s account post-separation could cause real problems. Now is a particularly important time to reconsider your privacy settings.
Keep steady & sensible
Overall, the choice is yours. In many legal proceedings it is recommended that each party removes their social media, just to ensure that there are no photos/posts/videos that could have a detrimental effect on your case or character. If you are confident in your posting habits and know you won’t be effected by others’ posts or be tempted to do anything harmful yourself, then social media is fine for you.
A final point that a lot of people don’t consider is that deleting posts does not always mean they are gone forever. Screenshots can be taken by anyone and stored to use against you.
Most importantly, do for you what keeps your head clear and your relationship as amicable as possible.
How we can help
Since this article has been published we no longer offer Family Law services but we can help you with:
- Wills, Probate & Power of Attorney
- Personal Injury
- Court of Protection
- Medical Negligence