Internet news sites and newspapers are packed with stories about Facebook’s contribution to the divorce process. Largely ignored, however, is Facebook’s impact on life after divorce. Questions we never would have imagined 10 years ago, such as whether to keep an ex-spouse on the “friends” list or how much of one’s inner life to put on the “wall,” now challenge many divorced people.
What to Post?
Facebook is the modern version of a scrapbook. It is an open scrapbook, however; as we clip and paste our thoughts onto the page, we must consider the information we convey to an ever-growing circle of friends.
Whether a divorce was amicable or contentious, a complex story lies behind it. It is a story with aspects that will always remain private, and events that were very public. The in-between moments, which may explain to others why the divorce occurred or how it affected the spouses, are often the ones that divorcees may be undecided about posting.
What to View?
It could be difficult to witness an ex-spouse’s activity – whether the viewing is accomplished by a direct connection on Facebook or a more circuitous route through friends of friends on the site.
With ever-changing Facebook privacy standards, it may become easier than anticipated to see information that was intended to have a narrow release. It may be wise to un-friend certain people, at least for a while, if the information seems too painful.
How to Behave?
Perhaps there are no hard-and-fast rules for Facebook etiquette after divorce, except for the rules that many of us live by anyway: Think about what you say before you say it; and if you’re not sure you should say something, wait a day or two and see if it still seems like a good idea.
Whether it is adjusting your approach to Facebook, deciding which real-life friends to lean on or getting accustomed to the new daily routine, life after divorce can take some getting used to. In Georgia and beyond, newly divorced people will need patience and perspective to find the balance.