This may not come as a surprise to you, but there is significant reason to believe that social media activity harms marriages.
For example, one study analyzed several different models of marriage and found a statistical link between social media use and a decrease in marital quality. It predicts that non-users of social media will be 11% happier in their marriages than those who use social media regularly.
You can imagine why. Social media is known to exacerbate disagreements. Users usually curate their social media personas, meaning that every vacation looks perfect and every couple looks happy. It’s easy to feel that your life is unusually unhappy.
It’s also possible to use social media to hunt for clues that your spouse is cheating. According to one study, Facebook is cited in about 20% of U.S. divorce cases, often to back up allegations of infidelity.
If you’re getting a divorce, that is one thing you really need to understand. Social media posts can be used as evidence in your case. It happens all the time.
Divorce is not a time to vent publicly
For all its faults, social media does make many people feel like they are in a community. You feel a little less lonely, sometimes, when you connect with someone via social media. Especially when you’re feeling emotional, it’s tempting to vent online. Don’t do it.
It’s a bad idea to vent about your spouse for a lot of reasons. First, they might see it and retaliate. Second, your children might see it and feel stuck in the middle of your dispute. Finally, it could possibly be used against you.
For example, your spouse might try to show that the hostility you exhibited in your social media rant means you are unwilling to cooperate in co-parenting.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re emotional. It’s easy to say things you don’t mean in the longer term. On social media, you’re doing so in a very public venue. Even if you delete the post the next day, there’s a good chance your ex can find it online or hear about it from someone else.
The best way to prevent yourself from posting something that could later be used against you is to stop using social media altogether during your divorce.
If you can’t give it up, be very cautious. Change your privacy settings so your photos and posts are visible to the smallest group of people possible. Go through your friends list and actively unfriend, or even block, your ex’s friends and family.
If you have concerns about social media evidence, consult a compassionate divorce attorney who will go the extra mile to help.