Social media is all encompassing for many people. They eagerly log in even before the morning coffee is made and it is the last thing they do before hitting the sack. Relationship ending status changes are one of the more awkward realities that happen when people choose to live their personal lives transparently online. Many people can’t help but share even the most personal details of their lives especially during stressful situations like divorce. Here are my recommendations on how a man should utilize social media during a divorce.
The #1 thing to keep in mind is that the person who cares the most about their social media relationships and reputation has the most to lose. In 95% of cases I am guessing that is the woman but if you are the rare exception now is a good time to see if your social media usage is out of hand.
My recommended social media divorce strategy:
- Avoid mentioning the divorce in social media. Instead discuss the situation with people you trust in face to face settings.
- Never update your social media relationship status in the first place. If you already have my recommendation is once the marriage is formally over change the setting to blank on the sly by reading up on the notification changes and altering the setting to make it a private change.
- Don’t friend work colleagues on social media sites that has family involvement keep those for LinkedIn. Even more important don’t have family and colleagues intermingle on social media it could get messy through no fault of your own so it is better to avoid that drama.
- If you are being treated unfairly in your divorce social media can be a powerful tool to gain a little leverage and fair treatment if you can not achieve it through reason and compromise. This leverage is most powerful to you when you did nothing wrong to warrant divorce (hooray frivolous divorce queens in my best red stripe guy accent), are mutual friends with her friends and family and don’t have personal and work relationships intertwined. In this type of scenario you have all kinds of options from doing nothing for fair treatment, correcting lies, or even being antagonistic if you are being treated unfairly (often this just means being transparent about her unfairness).
Social media divorce scenario #1 – Your soon to be ex unfriends you.
How you should respond: Don’t mention it to her or via your own account this is just a social media divorce mirroring what is happening in real life. Have a mutual friend loyal to you keep an eye on the communication stream to make sure lies are not being told about you.
Social media divorce scenario #2 – Your soon to be ex changes her relationship status but stays friends with you.
How you should respond: Avoid the drama but aggressively correct any lies unless it is in your strategic advantage not to do so.
Social media divorce scenario #3 – Your ex asks you to unfriend all of her friends and family even ones that you have a good relationship with.
How you should respond: Refuse to do so unless you are given major concessions that are beneficial to you settlement wise. The main reason she is asking you to do this is because she either intends to lie about you and doesn’t want you to have easy access for correcting facts or because she thinks some of them may side with you and cause her difficulties. Either way this can be a source of advantage for a man facing frivolous divorce and since the system is so stacked against you this is a nice form of digital leverage. Harness the leverage and use it however is best for your settlement not for revenge. Often times this will mean doing nothing but verbally insinuating that you might need to tell the truth on facebook and that you know you have broad support among mutual friends. Keep the insinuations vague and just open the possibility that her dirty laundry could be exposed.
Social media divorce scenario #4 – You first find out about your impending divorce via facebook or other social media tools
How you should respond: Look in the mirror and know you married a heartless digital robot and apply the advice in scenario 3 to maximum advantage.
Social media divorce scenario #5 – You find out she is seeing someone else prior to your divorce being final.
How you should respond: In most cases this is not that important and you should cut the cord and realize your relationship is done and it doesn’t matter. If kids are involved and a fair custody split can not be achieved do some light background checking to see if there is any leverage to be had by investigating the background of her new acquaintance. If he has a shady past it could be a real advantage to you so hope she has rekindled her love of bad boys. If she brags or shows pictures about all night party sessions, illegal activities, or excessive alcohol take some screen shots and build a case file it could come in handy.
Remember your goal in using social media in a pending divorce is not to get emotional support or social revenge. Your goal is to get the best settlement that you can and move on with your life. Any questions?