Social media is an amazing tool in our modern, connected world.  It allows us to share our highs and lows, to announce new jobs, to stay in touch with old friends, and to post adorable pictures of our children.  On the other hand, social media can allow people to peer a little too closely into each other’s lives, causing conflict and argument.  This is especially true in a divorce situation.  When it comes to social media and divorce, former couples may need to rethink their online experience once they’ve changed their relationship status.

Friends or Not Friends?
Whether or not you remain friends with your ex on Facebook or other social media accounts is completely up to the two of you.  Many times this is dependent upon whether or not the two of you are able to remain friends in real life.  Keep in mind that if you want to maintain this particular connection, you need to be able to handle whatever content they may post.  If you aren’t ready to see your ex with a new significant other, it might not be the best idea.  Being friends also leaves your former partner open to exploring your profile, so this decision is worth some careful consideration.

Think Before You Post
This is worthwhile advice even if you aren’t concerned about what your previous spouse may be able to see.  It’s quite likely that you and your ex have mutual friends, and some of those friends will choose either your side or your ex’s.  This means that even if you have blocked your former spouse, others may be able to see your post and pass it along to him or her.  If you don’t want your previous partner to know about the terrible blind date you went on, you probably shouldn’t share that information online.  Also, digital content in the form of emails, text messages, and social media posts may be admissible in court as evidence.  This could work in your favor if your soon-to-be-ex is trying to hide financial assets, but keep in mind that it applies to you as well.  Even seemingly harmless posts can be misconstrued and affect the divorce agreement.  Don’t post or tweet anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with everyone knowing.  The only way to truly keep something truly private is not to share it.

Keep the Peace
It can be very tempting to post about what a terrible person your former spouse is.  Your friends will usually show their support and make you feel a little bit better about the situation.  But before you type all those nasty words in your status box, think about how you would feel if your ex wrote that way about you.  It might not even be true, but hateful and vindictive posts can lead to hurt feelings and extensive arguments.  These conflicts aren’t usually worth your time and energy.  A divorce is your opportunity to start fresh, so don’t waste it by constantly dredging up the past.  While you’re at it, don’t ‘creep’ or stalk your previous partner’s profile, either.  Even if you have remained “friends,” you may find information that you wish you hadn’t.

In general, the best idea when it comes to social media is to keep a little bit of distance and remain friendly.  Think carefully about any picture or status you want to share, who might read it, and how it could affect you.  Social media can be both convenient and entertaining, but use it wisely