We’ve all heard about the isolated cases where Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites were used in divorce court. What you may not realize is that it’s happening more and more, and it’s not just in those rare cases anymore. As a matter of fact, depending on which report you read, Facebook is now used in up to 90% of divorce cases in the United States alone.
Richard just wrote an article yesterday about the fact that what we put on Twitter and Facebook can affect whether or not we get that new job, but now our social media updates can affect things much more important than just a job. It can affect things like child support, child custody and the outcome of major financial disputes.
According to this article on The Next Web, the three main reasons why Facebook is divorce attorney heaven is because it can prove that there were inappropriate messages to members of the opposite sex, nasty comments that separated spouses posted about each other, and of course pictures and other spouse behavior revealed on Facebook that Facebook friends provide when they decide to get involved in a friend’s divorce.
This isn’t just happening with Facebook and Twitter either. Richard pointed out in his article that Myspace plays a big role in social media background checks, and I read that Myspace also also plays a role in this divorce stuff too (even things that you’ve deleted can be used). I don’t get that. I mean, who the heck hangs out on Myspace anyway? I thought that was pretty much just a site for musicians these days, but I guess I am way wrong about that.
The main point I take from this is that the meat and potatoes of our communication is now officially taking place on our preferred social media sites. I’ve got to give text and email credit though, they stayed on top for a long time, but now it looks like the tables are finally turning and social media trumps them both when it comes to sensitive conversations and communications.
This infographic called How Family Law Attorneys Use Social Media Evidence In Court Cases, created by Dishon & Block Family Law Attorneys, shows the shocking statistics with regard to this. Also, the video below shows how unbelievably easy it is to dig up dirt on whoever you want. No wonder divorce attorneys love this method. It’s fast, easy and free. If you suddenly feel the need to do a little housekeeping, whether it’s for a job you hope to get or for personal reasons, you might want to read this article published on Fox Business a few days ago called Six Tips To Clean Up Your Social Media Profile.
If you want to see what’s out there about you that is easily accessible, just Google yourself (don’t forget to check Google images too). This won’t show you everything of course, but it will show you the obvious stuff that can be found on the first layer. I’m sure some people will blame Facebook for this, but we all know that isn’t true. It all comes down to how we use choose to use the technology that we have access to. Like this article on Impact Lab says…
“Either we use technology to benefit ourselves, our family and the planet, or we use it to destroy things. Simple as that.”