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And you Can't Blame It On Facebook or any other social network.

Most divorces are unpleasant, complicated and exhausting ordeals.  In the worst case-scenarios, people get so hateful they will even attempt to sabotage their former spouse, either for their self gain or just out of spite.  But what many people don't realize is that they might be sabotaging themselves through online social networking sites, where they and others can post everything from pictures to stories, and anything you can think of. Time Magazine ran a story called Facebook and Divorce: Airing the Dirty Laundry. 

divorce on facebookYou would think that by now everyone knows that there is no such thing as privacy on the Internet, but unfortunately they don't.  For every picture, comment, story, or quiz that is posted, there is a permanent trace.  In many modern divorce cases, incriminating, or at least condemning evidence can be found or hunted down, without much difficulty.  Comments and stories can be taken out of context and photos can provide visual proof of adultery or lying—the bottom line is that social networking sites can be treasure troves of damning evidence when it comes to divorce.    

What are people thinking!?  How can you post pictures of yourself with illicit lovers on vacation together, publicly announce your secret feelings for a person, or even send forbidden love notes to another person, without thinking it will come back to you!?!??! The concept of privacy is no more than a saran-wrap shield—there's no such real protection, and when you find yourself in front of a judge with your ex's lawyer presenting visual and textual evidence of your less-than standup activities, you'll regret ever having made a Facebook account.

But sometimes it's what isn't there that can get you in trouble.  Intentionally presenting a false image of yourself on the web can be almost as detrimental as actual proof of marital disloyalty.  For example, as a married woman with three kids, it wouldn't be fair to post your high school graduation photo and leave out your relationship status, date of birth and profession, so as to avoid the appearance of being a married, nearly middle-aged woman.  It's nice to have an alter ego and find you can still get attention from younger members of the opposite sex, but when you're going through divorce, this attention and flattery to the high school portrayal of you can get you in big trouble.

Don't be reckless with your social networking webpage, and don't falsify your image to get some ego-stroking comments and catcalls.  The Internet is full of secrets, but it will easily give them up if searched for thoroughly.  

If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would advice NOT TO over share, and that doesn't only apply to a possible divorce. Before hitting that publish button, think to yourself, would I stand up and announce this in public? How could this be damaging to me? Remember, the Internet is not the same thing as speaking to a group of people in one room, it's so much more....

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      James Beverly wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • How very true. I also wish more kids knew the future implications of what they post.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • You think that people can’t be that stupid, then you see things like these (in the article and many more like it)going on. What are they thinking? Nothing, obviously.

      I agree with your conclusion. Don’t overshare and think before publishing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • All true ......



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • @Kimlinn, you are not obnoxious for asking to be your daughters Facebook friend. I’m one of those moms that is always “in their face“, my kids and their friends that is...

      It is so much easier to do nothing, and pretend that our kids are smarter than that, but they are NOT. We have to supervise them. My youngest daughter is a bit over 17, and six months ago she lost her Facebook privileges, I can’t tell you how much b.s. I got from everyone, but FB was taking to much of her time and she was not spending enough time doing school work. She will be applying for colleges, and she just asked if she can get her Facebook back. My response was, “Get into a college, get good grades, then will see“.  

      HELLO WORLD, all of us 40 plus grew up without Facebook, Myspace or Tweeter, and look we all survived, our kids will too. Let’s be parents first and friends second.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tina Sickinger wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • So true! I know someone it happened to. A family members husband fell in love on the internet and left her high and dry with two kids, wiping out their bank account and taking everything they owned to be with this “person he met” online. Little did he know, they were able to retrieve all chat records and used them in court!
      Funny thing was, his online lover didn’t want him either..HA! Served him right if you ask me.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robin Clark wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • Shame on the people out there that air their dirty laundry on the net.  I think it is nice having a site where you can talk about things and not have a bunch of people out there asking your age.  I also don’t like going to a persons out burst with a bunch of nasty words on it.  Why do you have to curse when you are upset.  Can’t you just talk without using foul language.  Then net is not the place to air bad business. My kids are grown and gone from home so I keep track when I see what they are doing on the net.  I try to make sure that they are not in trouble.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • It’s so true. We are naive if we think that our private conversations online are truly private. Just Google yourself and you’ll see things you’ve written online that you may have no idea ended up being accessed publicly.

      And Dr. Beverly is so right. My husband is an educator at a college prep school. They are forever cautioning the kids to be careful what they post online. Believe it that potential employers check before someone is hired. Such a shame to spend so much money on education to have it wasted by something you said or did online that you can’t take back.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yvette Johnson wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • Yana,

      They say the “Pen is mightier than the sword” and it is so very true!  You know that creepy feeling you get after you say something out of anger - and then the thought comes across your mind, “Oh, I wish I had never said that.”  Or, “I didn’t mean it like that.”  Well, guess what . . . it’s out there for people to read over, and over and over again with their own interpretations of what you wrote.  That is the scariest thought ever because not everyone thinks alike.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Marilyn09 wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • It is great advice. estatic

      Just recently one of the fabbers posted a comedy thing that they got off of youtube. It was funny.
      Throw’d TV Presents: Facebook Breakup

      (in case you missed it)



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leolafaye wrote Sep 9, 2009
    • I give a hands up to all moms who monitor and choose what
      kids do and see on the internet we live in a loony world! frown



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Hamilton wrote Sep 10, 2009
    • I agree.  All of my kids knew/know growing up that they need to provide their password to me if I ask and that they cannot have any access to the computer unless they agree that I have the right to read over their shoulder and question their online activities.  They know full well that I will exercise my rights and if at any time they deny me, their privilege will be revoked.  It is made very clear to them that their computer access is a privilege, not a right.

      It allows for their privacy and my (our) security when I ask them on a whim.  It also provides a constant segue into password security and personal security.  My children and I have a very open and honest relationship.  For the minors, if they ask me something and it’s not appropriate for me to tell them, that is what I tell them.  I have followed through and they know it.  For the adult children, they know I can ask anything and I will respect their right to not tell me details.

      Thanks for permitting me to speak. happy

      /e



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Sep 10, 2009
    • Yes I agree. I try to keep what I say on the internet positive. I think the adage, "if you can't say something nice say nothing at all" works so well here, Faye happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Missunderstood wrote Sep 12, 2009
    • I also am on facebook. On my profile I only use general terms and some sarcasm. I don’t put my real photo on either!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lita wrote Sep 13, 2009
    • I agree!!  We are Parents First !! We need to Parent our children.  If we don't the "world" will!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jewelrybyirina wrote Sep 14, 2009
    • Thank you Yana!
      Good advice!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Paula Bertucci wrote Sep 23, 2009
    • Great article..good advice...though as others have said...it’s a public forum..so if you don’t want it known..don’t post it!!



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