With social media being an ever present factor in most people’s lives today, it is important to consider how you should manage your social media activity, and the impact it can have, when going through a separation.
Social media posts and text messages can take just a few seconds to put together, but what we often don’t consider is that they can have a long-lasting and negative impact on our separation and any negotiations surrounding that.
When confronted with the stress of a separation, in the first instance it’s probably the healthiest choice to step away from social media. Having said that, in this day and age, Facebook and other social media platforms are used for speaking to family, friends, and colleagues, and it’s not always an option to completely disconnect. It is in those circumstances that we offer a few hints and tips on ways that you can manage your online presence while you’re going through a separation.
Firstly, be careful about the information that you’re posting online. Seemingly innocent photos and messages can often have a much more negative impact than you think. It’s a good idea to refrain from airing any dirty laundry. This could be about your relationship or specifically about your ex-partner. Information like this can create more issues, particularly impacting on any negotiation regarding your separation, and have a very negative impact on the children of your relationship too, if you have any.
The second thing is to be mindful about what others are posting about you. These days you can be tagged in photos, videos, and posts by others. You may not have made any posts but often your ex-partner or children can see the things you are tagged in. This can impact negatively in cases where, for example, your ex-partner might see a photo of your child tagged with a new partner. That can be understandably upsetting and have a negative impact on any negotiations.
The third thing is to know who your friends are. Check your account settings, check who you’re friends with, and not only who can view your information but who has the ability to share it with others.
And the final thing is, don’t spend too much time on social media. It might be easier said than done but, nonetheless, it’s important to sometimes take a step back, particularly when you’re going through a separation. Viewing your ex-partner’s social media is a way to remain connected, however, spending too much time doing this can cause unnecessary stress and angst.
So, regardless of the manner or amount of social media that you use, it’s important to take stock of your online presence and be aware of any unintended consequences to you and your family during your separation.