It’s so tempting, isn’t it? You just got kicked out of your house, the one you worked to maintain for so long, the one you put your blood, sweat and tears into in order that your family could have a nice place to live. Or you just got walked out on, left with two kids and not a clue what to do next. Ten, fifteen, twenty years of your life wasted, and for what?
You’re hurt. You’re pissed off. You’re out of your mind.
It’s so easy. It’s right there, waiting for you. Just pick it up, turn it on, and let loose.
Your phone, laptop, keyboard awaits, yon Master. Just get on Facebook, or Twitter, or Tumblr, and let it all pour out like a fountain of righteous indignation. She’ll rue the day she screwed you over, once you let her have what for over the Internet.
Well, here’s the problem, though. As tempting and understandable as it may be, the repercussions of tweeting that tweet, posting that status, writing that blog may extend beyond your ten minutes of glory behind the keyboard. Indeed, in ways you may not even consider.
Here is a list of the 6 ill effects of talking about your divorce on the internet, even if it does make you feel better. And yes, I am speaking from experience.
You look like a jerk. Yes, you are probably at your lowest point imaginable after splitting from your love, the mother of your beautiful kids. Raging about it doesn’t help anything however. It’s one thing to put a faceless corporation on blast with a series of tweets, or with a strongly worded Facebook post. It’s another to do it to another human being, no matter how much (you feel) she deserves it.
You hurt your children. Now, I’m as guilty as anyone in very matter of factly telling my kids (who I do have custody of) that despite the fact we were married for close to fifteen years, I really don’t like their mother very much. It’s just how it is, and that’s that. When you take to the Internet in telling everyone you know this, in excruciating detail, sooner or later, your kids will find out what you said about their mother, whom they more than likely still love and care for quite a bit. And they will more than likely find out about it through their mother. Because no matter how many blocks you have on someone, eventually there’s a mutual friend of a friend out there that will see it, and then it cascades…
And speaking of “sooner or later”…
Everything you say stays on the Internet… in some form or another. No, I’m not getting Edward Snowden on you, but the fact is, even if you delete the post within an hour, there is an archive of you saying it, somewhere out there. The net has always had a way of preserving its data. Sooner or later, someone who is looking for anything to do with your situation can, and eventually will, find it. And that someone can be her attorney. Because…
Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Now, don’t worry. You can’t be arrested for saying nasty things about someone (Well, unless you make threats against them, and yes, at that point you deserve it). However, if you’re still going through your proceedings, any of your online rants can be used as ammunition by opposing counsel. Especially if you’re in the middle of a custody battle.
You can alienate even your most ardent supporters. At a time when you need friends more than any other in your life, you don’t want to do anything that will push them away. Constant, or even occasional, polemics about how evil she is will push them away. Trust me, it about happened to me, with someone I know in my “real” profession, who was going through something very similar, snapping me back into reality. She’s not worth the friends you lose, because you can’t stop kvetching about her.
You look like a jerk. This needs to be reiterated and emphasized. No matter how justified you are, or how well-received your posts are, you look like a jerk. And if you let your mouth get the better of you, you will probably say some things you’ll regret later. Things that maybe make you look worse than an asshole.
As with anything to do with online writing, think before you post. Remember actions can, and often do, have consequences. And besides, if you want to prove you’re the better person in this argument, act like it. Screaming how you’re the better person and a great guy to boot… well, typically, it shows the exact opposite result.