We have discussed on this blog before the role that social media has reportedly played in the breakup of some marriages. In those cases, spouses used social media websites to reignite old flames which subsequently led to the breakdown of their marriages. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter seemed to be held partly to blame. But it’s not necessarily fair to point the finger at social media sites or in fact to assume that they don’t also have a positive role to play. Divorced couples with children are one such group who can use social media to their advantage.
Several years ago, before the concept of social media was invented, communication between a divorced couple could dry up all too easily. Of course, for some of those couples, it was clearly right and proper that they each moved on with their lives and communication came to an amicable end. But nowadays, for couples with children, social media sites such as Facebook can help to keep those lines of communication open. Moreover, parents can use these sites as a means to a more structured approach to communication. Arrangements can be made and news shared through the various online tools that allow the parent to first consider what they want to say (to their ex spouse or their children) and also how they want to phrase it. This can help to set the foundation for a mutually respectful approach to communication. The family members then stay in touch but at a distance that is comfortable for all.
Obviously, it’s important that social media doesn’t prevent either party from moving on with their lives. It may not be wise, for example, to monitor social media sites for details of an ex partner’s new relationship. Indeed, if this becomes an issue, some careful ‘pruning’ of friends may help shield an ex spouse from too much of their ex partner’s new life.
So perhaps it’s worth remembering that social media sites can be beneficial when used in the right way. Indeed, many people who divorce find their next partner online.