Social media and divorce

If you are into the world of social media, as the majority of people are these days, you can barely go an hour without the latest celebrity divorce drama being publicly aired on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and pictures of people ‘getting over their ex’ in various ways on Instagram and other picture based sites.  Do the posts and hashtag links fill you with delight, or do you cringe and feel uncomfortable as you read them?

It can be very tempting to get drawn into the world of broadcasting every little detail of your life on social media in some form or other, but let us make the point that social media and divorce do not a happy couple make.

Whatever your feelings, especially if your ex has upset you or wronged you in some way, take some time to step away from the phone/laptop/ipad and take a few deep breaths, or just have a chat with a friend rather than announcing the details to the world.

What you put out there can stay with you for a long time.  A simple post on Facebook can be read by your friends and acquaintances, but if they comment or ‘like’ the post, can be shared rapidly far beyond their social circles too, and the information and rants could get back to friends/family or your ex, who may use the information against you with their solicitors.  Did you know that social media clauses are gaining prominence in divorce agreements these days?

Worse still, it could be read by your children or their friends and families.  Imagine how you would have felt at school had someone come in to the playground and talked all about your private life with everyone else.  Hurtful, yes.  Even if they are too young to access social media themselves, they may overhear people talking about the information, and they may make you out to be something that you are not, and not in a pleasant way.

Remember, that what you put out there in a moment of upset, may not be the way you would articulate yourself in the calm light of tomorrow, especially if you are trying to keep up a professional appearance and want to set a good example to your family.

There can be some more constructive ways to get things off your chest if you need to, without resorting to a negative online post (and don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the social media sites completely if you can’t trust yourself for a while!).  A simple way is to journal all of your feelings and pour them out onto paper or onto word documents that you can file away or get rid of.  If you want more face to face contact, what about getting some emotional support from some family or friends, or better still someone professional that you can offload to?  Having a good rant and rage so that you feel that you have been heard and can calm yourself rather than keeping it all pent up inside you is a great way to deal with the overwhelming emotions that come about during a divorce.

There are also wonderful life coaches and experts who specialise in divorces who may be your cup of tea.  As experienced individuals they will be able to help you negotiate the tricky path of emotional turmoil that you may find yourself in, and can help you see the way forward when you are feeling that things are bleak and never ending.

Try to think of the longer term and how life will be as you move forwards after your divorce is completed and you are leading your new brighter life.  Will you want to be faced with the fallout of some months of social media postings for the years ahead?  Probably not.  So the next time you are tempted to tap away onto your social media for a hit of instant support, step back, go for a breather and see how you feel the next day.

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