For many of us, social media is a near-constant presence in our lives.
There are about 214 million active Facebook users in the United States alone, in addition to the millions of users on Instagram and Twitter.
It’s perhaps not surprising that people’s social media activity has begun to have an impact on marriages and divorces nationwide.
Social media’s impact on relationships
Sociologists and relationship experts are only starting to understand the true effects of social media on marriage. The following are a few common ways too much social media can harm a couple’s relationship:
- It interrupts one-on-one time: Although a couple might be spending time together physically, one or both partners may not be totally “present” if they are constantly on their phones or computer interacting on social media. Because of this, spouses may not spend much time talking or connecting with one another in meaningful ways.
- It sets unrealistic expectations: People tend to share on social media only the best parts of their relationships, like when they go out to dinner, take a European vacation or spend a day hiking. This can give you a false sense that other people’s relationships are stronger than yours, when in fact the opposite could be true.
- It can lead to affairs: Social media brings us all closer together—and that can be a negative thing if it leads to an extramarital affair. Connecting with an old partner can take people back to high school or college, which may have been a simpler time in their lives. Using social media responsibly during divorce If you have already decided to move forward with a divorce, it’s important to be careful with how you use social media. Family law attorneys across the country are reporting increased numbers of cases in which social media activity is being used as evidence. To that end, it might be best to refrain from using social mediaat all during your divorce. If that’s not feasible, you should certainly avoid posting about your divorce or writing anything negative about your spouse. If you do wish to notify your Facebook friends of your divorce, do
so via a private message and don’t go into too much detail. Simply let them know that the divorce is taking place that you’ll be able to talk about it more at a later time.
Additionally, avoid posting anything about your children or your dating life on social media. Even if you are in a new relationship that you believe is extremely positive, your spouse could find a way to use it against you when negotiating child custody or alimony.
Most family law attorneys recommend disabling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media profiles when in the middle of a divorce. For further guidance on this and related issues, consult an experienced Fresno and San Diego divorce lawyerwith the Law Office of Rebecca Medina.