Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Social Media After A Marriage Break Up

One aspect that has been a little frustrating with regards to my marriage break-up is our links and common ties with social media, in particular Facebook. I have become a little fanatical about seeing photos of us together and promptly deleted any on my Facebook, but the reality is they were also on his and other people we mutually know. It got me thinking whether I was being a little anal about this whole situation and wanting to pare back my joint social exposure. It's not that the photos are painful to look at, but some of the lovey dovey comments attached to them just don't wash so well when you have been dumped.

So, I did what every good blogger does before writing such a post, and consulted the universe...the wise god Dr Google, and came across this great guide to breaking up on social media which tells me I am not the only one who has been through this. Okay now here are the six steps we all need to know if we are going through a break-up, most of which you will do by instinct if you are anything like me:

Step 1. Address Your Relationship Status:
When my husband said that it was absolutely over for us, the first thing I did on Facebook was change my status to separated, and as suggested in this article I did not make this public. It wasn't a statement I was trying to announce, I just felt that my profile should reflect what I really am and that is well and truly separated. I did go one step further though. When Fathers Day came around and I realised I was no longer a part of the extended family gathering I decided to change back to my maiden name on Facebook. I did not realise I made it public, and of course I received a barrage of concerned comments...but hey at least it was out there. I wasn't hiding it anymore.

Step 2. Erase the most obviously lovey-dovey Facebook and Instagram photos:
Lyndsay Rush suggests a two stage process for this. Stage 1 is to delete all the photos of the two of you, and Stage 2, absolutely any and all group photos of you in love. My first port of call was my wedding photos. I almost deleted the whole album but there are great photos of the kids so now it just looks like I married myself...plus I look good in them, even though the memory of the day is now tarnished.

Step 3: Dig Through Your Facebook Timeline:
I have never been a really big poster so I have not bothered to go back through this. If I happened to say I loved him on his birthday and made it public, so be it. It does not bother me that it's there.

Step 4: Deal with The Friendship Question:
This has been a biggy for me. At the moment he is still my 'friend' on Facebook although I have unfollowed so I do not receive all of his notifications. Sometimes I do think my posts of the boy's sporting achievements are none of his business and apparently I can choose not to share them with him, which is something to consider. But, hey, he can still read my blog to catch up on what I am up to if he really wants to...but I did ask him to unlike Floodproof Mum's Facebook. Just seemed like the right thing to do really.

Step 5: Unfollow on Twitter:
All I can say is....thank goodness I do not use twitter. Sounds like a nightmare to erase their presence from that.

Step 6: Institute Social Media Roadblocks:
I am definitely at Step 6 now. Many of our Facebook friends and family are mutual and it gets complicated when you don't want them to see something you post, or it's not relevant to them, but then your brother or sister (for example only, this has not happened yet) likes it, and because they are his friends too, then he sees it anyway. Phew, does that make sense? Seems I need to do a lot more digging into the privacy settings, cull some unnecessary connections and as Lindsay suggests, asking your connections to do the same. Truth be known, some of my family have already done this.

So, there you have it. Check out Lindsay's article for the full explanation of all the above. especially if you are in this situation and feeling like you are neurotic...I'm sure Paul thought I was crazy getting him to delete all of our joint photos, and it doesn't feel right not to be able to do it yourself somehow.

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