Are you going to get really mad at your ex during divorce? Will there be people who stick their nose in your business, gossip about you, and think the worst of you? The answer to all of these is yes! The emotional entrée’ of divorce and all of the nasty side dishes of rumors and conflict make for a terrible case of indigestion! You will be tempted to blow your top, run in circles trying to set the record straight, and agonize over every misconception and damaged relationship.
Be careful! This is not the time to get an itchy trigger finger and start firing off retaliatory shots in all directions!
As satisfying as it could be to publicly shame your ex for his actions and give the court of public opinion a piece of your mind, what this situation calls for is dignity and self-control. It’s very difficult to restrain yourself when under attack, but there are several reasons why it’s not a good idea to go on a rampage!
Seven Reasons NOT to Commit Social Media Suicide:
1. “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law…” is not just the line from when police make an arrest. Oh, no, this is the cold hard reality of how your words, pictures, and other actions on social media can come back to bite you hard in court! Never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want the judge of your divorce case (or your kids, your boss, your grandma…) to read! Ask yourself if what you’re about to post is worth affecting custody and other factors of your divorce?
2. Have you ever seen what gasoline does when you add it to a fire? Kaboom! If things are already messy because others are making it so, your involvement is only going to turn up the animosity a notch, and nothing good is going to come from that!
3. Do you really want the dirty laundry from your personal life on display for the world? You may not have started this war, but going on a rant about your dirtbag ex and all the sordid details of your life disaster is nothing short of embarrassing. Some of your acquaintances may be inclined to pull up a chair and a big bowl of popcorn to watch your soap opera play out, but do you really want to be everyone’s cheap entertainment?
4. Do you want to prove your ex right? If your ex is the type to portray you as a crazy, volatile person who’s impossible to live with, the last thing you want to do is make a starring appearance on social media showing him and the rest of the world how psycho you really are!
Bite your tongue. Take deep breaths. Now, conduct yourself as a poised, rational, and sane individual who can’t be bothered to attend the crazy ex-position. You may never have your day in the sun to attack your ex’s allegations, but your dignified approach will make everyone else question what’s been said about you! Who’s really the crazy one here if you are so normal and appropriate while they keep running their mouth and throwing mud?
As I always say; “if someone’s going to be a jerk, let it be them!”
5. Who are you, and how do you want to be seen? Once something hits the internet, it’s very unlikely to be completely erased. I still get flashback memories on Facebook from during my divorce days and am either reminded of what a dark and sad time that was (but, yippee! I’m no longer living that!), or I shake my head and think “did I really say that out loud in front of hundreds of people?”
Think about it, if your kids aren’t on social media yet, they most likely will be one day, and it’s doubtful that you won’t want them to see where you posted that their dad was a hypocritical hot head (my bad). I recognized that I was letting social media become a little too much of my personal journal. In some ways I did want people to see what I said because I wanted to be able to tell my side. In other ways, I just needed someone to talk to. Figure out what your motivation is and decide if there might be a healthier way to fulfill your needs!
6. Drama is a turn off. Initially most people probably won’t be able to take their eyes off of the destruction that is your marriage. It’s like a horrific ten care pile-up that everyone driving past has to rubberneck to catch a glimpse of. The juicy details are tantalizing and awesome fodder for the gossip mill. I promise you, though, that before long most people do not, I repeat, do not want to hear about your divorce!
What divorcing people often need most at these frustrating times is an understanding ear to confide to. There is so much raw emotion, and it’s very healthy to release it. The problem is that most people are secretly freaked out by divorce. Many people will act as though you have a disease and they do not want to catch your cooties and infect their marriage. They will feel bad for you. They will want to help you in some way. They just can’t handle hearing hours of complaining and crying every time they see you.
So, if you are using social media to serve as your caring shoulder to unload on, expect some sympathy and support in the beginning; but, if you relentlessly spill poisonous blather about your ex and your miserable situation, don’t be surprised if, eventually, people start to unfriend or unfollow you. Either what you share or how you are saying it may easily become a major turn off, especially if they were friends with both of you.
7. From your keyboard to your ex’s ear. You may think your contacts on social media are your “friends”, but don’t be surprised if you have some rats among your friend list! During my divorce I went on a massive purge of my friend list of anyone who had a mutual connection to me and my ex because I found that things I said to my “friends” ended up being told back to him. I learned that it can be hard to know who you really can trust, so either tighten your circle, or zip your lips!
The suggestion to remain calm and quiet on social media during a divorce may sound like a tall order. It may require an iron resolve to ignore rumors and mistruths about your situation or to remain dignified in the face of turmoil. You may live to seriously regret sharing certain information or making disparaging comments about your ex or divorce online because, unlike Vegas, what happens on social media becomes everyone’s business!
The bottom line, and what finally brought me peace on this issue, is that when it comes down to it, the people who really matter will stand by you and believe you. If others will so easily be caught up in negative things about you, then you probably didn’t need them in your life!