With social media playing such a significant role in our current culture and our lives, it is no surprise it has crept its way into the family law arena. Users have many options with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumbler, and Google + all available to showcase your life. Social media can be a positive tool that can connect old friends, share life milestones and spread a message. In the family law context it can sometimes, for example, be the best way for a parent involved in a custody case to communicate with his or her teenage child. However, there can be several downfalls to social media as well. Unflattering pictures can be posted publically and mud in the form of status updates can be flung. While social media is not always accepted in the family law court as evidence, you can never be too careful. Let this article act as a social media etiquette guide as you review the following list:
· Don’t: Over share. No one needs to know you took in breath today. Stick to major accomplishments.
· Do: Share milestones such as birthdays, graduations, engagements.
· Don’t: Post incriminating pictures of yourself. Pictures of you wasted at the bar being sloppy are not appropriate or cute.
· Do: Post positive pictures of yourself. Pictures from a recent hiking trip or family birthday party are great ways to share.
· Don’t: write nasty status updates. The status update box is not a place to rant about your ex or your ex’s new significant other.
· Do: write uplifting status updates. Share positive messages or good news you want others to know about.
· Don’t: Post while angry or under the influence. Posting in the heat of the moment after a fight or after a night of partying will certainly haunt you the next day. Try to refrain until you are in a better state of mind.
· Do: Post during the day while in a good mood. Once you post, it is hard to undo it, so try and limit your postings to days you are in a good mood and are clear-headed.
· Don’t: Use inappropriate language. Leave the swearing and slurs out because they are just tacky.
· Do: Use appropriate language. You never know who will be seeing your profile and you always want to put your best foot forward.