While Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites are a great way to connect, whether it is good for those in the process of “disconnecting” depends on how you play the social media game.
How to be a social networking “loser”
- Think that anything you post is private—There is no privacy when it comes to the internet. You never really know who can see your Facebook posts. Can you trust each and every one of your 600 “friends” one hundred percent?
- Post your whereabouts when you are not where you are supposed to be—Think about it, you are in a hotly contested custody case and you switch nights with your soon-to-be ex because you have to work late and then you “check-in” at 11:00 p.m. at a bar (or, worse, an adult entertainment establishment). If your ex has the right of first refusal and you left the kids with a sitter, you have just outed yourself that you violated your agreement.
- Brag about expensive purchases—Try explaining that to a judge when you are asking to pay less alimony or child support.
- Allow yourself to be tagged in photos without approving them first– That photo of you holding your baby in one hand and a beer in the other will be the picture worth 1,000 words when you try telling the court you do not have a drinking problem.
- Bragging about your new love interest too soon after the break-up— Do not throw gasoline on an already smoldering fire. You still have to co-parent with the other parent. You still want to resolve your case without spending extra fees to fight with an angry spouse.
- Defriend your spouse and those close to them—As long as you are keeping your nose clean, why not use Facebook to keep tabs on your spouse’s activities? If they are not as careful as you are, you may hit pay dirt.
How to be a social media “winner”
- Periodically double-check your privacy settings to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep everything about you as private as possible.
- Untag yourself from photos. Better yet, set your account so you have to pre-approve all tags.
- Less is more—Think before you post.
- Print! If you see ANYTHING that you think you could possibly use against your spouse, print it immediately. Otherwise, it may be gone next time you want to view it. Or, make it a habit of printing your spouse’s page periodically. Something that could seem meaningless now could have more meaning later.
When it comes to social networking, be smart, strategic and vigilant. I hope you found these tips helpful. If you would like to discuss your domestic matter, here is how to get started.