In the 21st Century, social media is ubiquitous. The average person uses social media to communicate with friends, family, and even complete strangers all over the world. If you are going through a divorce, you may be tempted to make divorce-related posts on social media; however, doing so is typically a huge mistake. To explain, a Murfreesboro divorce attorney at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby discusses why you need to beware of social media during your divorce.
The Power of Social Media
If you regularly post on at least one social media platform, you are far from alone. In less than two decades, social media has all but replaced traditional forms of communication in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, just five percent of all American adults used at least one social media platform in 2005 when they began tracking social media usage. By 2011 that share had risen to half of all Americans, and today 72 percent of Americans use some type of social media. Worldwide, 59 percent (about 4.75 million) of the population uses social media. Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, followed by YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram. Depending on the platform, 60-70 percent of all social media users visit the site at least once a day with an average overall daily usage of about two and a half hours.
Divorce and Social Media
If you are contemplating divorce, or are already in the middle of a divorce, you are likely going through a wide range of emotions. A generation ago, you would have talked about those emotions with friends or family through letters, over the telephone, or in person. Today, however, many of us turn to social media to express our emotions or to vent. Doing so during a divorce can be problematic though for several reasons, including:
- Posting on social media can exacerbate disputes. It is rare for a couple to go through the entire divorce process without even a small speedbump along the way. On the contrary, most divorces involve at least one disputed issue that must be resolved during the process. When you broadcast your dispute on social media, it almost inevitably exacerbates the dispute and decreases the likelihood of a peaceful resolution.
- Social media often distracts you and prevents true healing. Anger, hurt, betrayal, and abandonment are just some of the negative emotions that frequently accompany a divorce. It is only normal to want to vent to someone when you are feeling these emotions. Doing so on social media may temporarily make you feel better; however, it ultimately distracts you from the deeper work you need to do to heal and move forward.
- Posts made on social media can be used against you. Along with distracting you from true healing, turning to social media to vent your anger or pain can end up being used against you in a contested divorce. For example, if you are involved in a custody dispute, your soon-to-be former spouse may use negative posts you posted as evidence of your character and your inability to effectively co-parent. In short, raging on social media does not make you look good in the eyes of a judge.
- Your children may read what you post on social media. If you have minor children, remember that anything your post on social media (during a divorce or at any time) may be read by them at some point. While they may be too little to use social media today, they will eventually have access to the same platforms you use. Ask yourself how your child would likely feel if he/she read something negative about your child’s other parent that you are thinking about posting. If you even hesitate when asking that question, do not post what you were contemplating posting.
Contact a Murfreesboro Divorce Attorney
If you have additional questions about divorce in Tennessee, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro divorce attorney as soon as possible. Contact the team at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby as soon as possible by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.
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