Anti-Social Media

A couple of weeks ago, the Charlotte Business Journal in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, started their latest “Social Madness” competition on which company could best use Social Media to market their brand. The use of Social Media is rampant these days, to some degree replacing email and even the telephone. “Social Media” is simply the use of online tools like Facebook™, Twitter ™, Pinterest™, and other similar services that allow people to communicate with each other online. 

In the context of divorce, I sometimes refer to all these services as “Anti-Social” Media. When spouses go through divorce, some need an outlet to vent their frustrations, what’s going on in their lives, or all the nasty things their spouse said about them last week. The problem: everything you write may and will be used against you in a court of law! Some spouses don’t realize that their “profiles” are public. That means everyone in the world can view them, even if you haven’t “friended” them. Even if the profile is private, other friends and relatives may have access to that information as well.

What’s worse: You might be penalized for deleting the information once a divorce starts. There is something in the law called “spoliation” of evidence. If you delete information on your Facebook and Twitter pages, the court may penalize you similar to a criminal that tampers with evidence that might be used against him in court. This is a relatively new area of communication that attorneys, courts, and judges are dealing with, which makes this type of communication even more “anti-social”. The bottom line is that posting how you feel about everything that happens in your life may result in harm to your divorce case.

Here’s my advice: You don’t want to be this guy. Don’t use Facebook , Twitter, or any of these other services in place of some good counseling, and don’t simply vent your frustrations out there for the rest of the world to see. If you feel the need to write things so you can get them out of your system, go ahead and write them. Don’t send it to anyone, including yourself, and don’t post it anywhere. Simply delete it. If you need to talk about what’s going on, go talk to a good friend. Better yet, find a good counselor to help you cope with what’s really going on. If you don’t have anyone to go to, just Contact Me and I will point you in the right direction. And don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter!