Social media and litigation can work against each other, as explained in our “4 Tips for Avoiding Conflict During a Divorce” article. If you are currently involved or if there is a chance you might become involved in a family litigation matter in the future, you should be consistently conscientious of your social media presence. If you haven’t already started considering the “social media,” factor, you should consider thinking about it now or it might be too late.
Be Aware of Your Social Media Presence
Everything posted on social media instantly becomes part of your digital footprint. No kidding, everything! Many social media users consider a deleted post or image completely erased from the internet and therefore not possible of being referenced later on – this is not true.
Snapping a picture or a taking a quick print screen before the post is deleted makes it very easy to document social media post – even after it’s taken down. It’s a no brainer to ensure social media does not represent you in a negative light, whether on your own profile or the profiles of other people.
People Most Susceptible to Negative Social Media Portrayal are those Who:
- Are not sure how their social media profiles are visible to other people. Example: if you are unsure whether your profile is visible to people who you are connected with on your social media accounts aka- friends on Facebook, following on Google Plus and followers on Twitter then it’s recommended you conduct a thorough check.
- Do not check their social media notifications promptly. Example: A friend tags you in a picture while at friendly gathering the other day and you didn’t check the image notification till a couple hours later. Or perhaps you do not check your notifications regularly, or even worse, not at all.
- Are not familiar with how their social media profiles are visible to other members via their friends accounts. Example: You may have the most strict privacy restrictions on your social media accounts, but if you are tagged in a friends post and their account does not have the most strict privacy restrictions on their account, then it’s very likely people looking for you on social media will be able to find you.
- Have social media connections who tag you without asking for permission. First of all, this is inconsiderate, and second, this is completely avoidable. See number 3.
- Do not have an opinion as to what status updates and images they are tagged in. If you are in currently engaged in a family litigation matter, you should consider adopting a strong opinion regarding what is posted about you. Also easily avoided. Again, see number 3.
- Do not realize that if a photo or video is posted that does not include a personal tag still remains online evidence. Example: If an image or a video of you and some friends is posted to another friend’s social media account, there is now an image or video of you online.
- Might be vulnerable to being photographed or captured on a video recording exhibiting less than desirable behavior. Example: Speeding away in a vehicle after a disagreement or overindulgence of alcoholic beverages at a local restaurant.
Be Cautious with Your Social Media Digital Footprint
It’s not a secret that social media is exciting and entertaining, but it can also be a slippery slope. You never know if social media is going to be used against you in a court of law. The only way to be sure that social media is not going to harm you in the future is to button up your digital marketing footprint.
Tips to Check How Your Appear on the Internet:
- Conduct a Google search of your name. Use quotes around your name to find your specific results. I’ll go ahead use my name as an example, “Gib Irons.”
- While reviewing the results, also check the images, video and news search tabs offered by Google.
- Conduct a Google search of your name + [social media account.] Example: Gib Irons + Facebook or Gib Irons Twitter.
- Ask somebody you are not already connected with on social media to conduct a search for you and find out what you they can see. If they are seeing too much of your profile, update your privacy settings to the most restricted settings.
The Importance of Your Social Media Presence
Whether you are involved in pending family law litigation such as child custody, divorce, separation, your social media presence is critical to how you are perceived by others. If you have any doubt about the impact a current social media profile may have on you, go ahead and switch it up a bit by updating your privacy settings to the most restricted settings. And if any further doubt remains about your profile, go ahead and deactivate it for awhile till you can spend some time figuring out what digital presence is going to be best for you moving forward. Remember, deactivating does not mean deleting. It’s just taking it offline till you re-activate when you want to later on.
Your Greenville, NC Family Law Attorney
If you live in the greater Greenville, North Carolina area considering divorce or a child custody modification and would like to know available options, please contact Irons & Irons P.A. Attorney Gib Irons is available to consult with you over the phone or in person. Consulting with Attorney Irons will help you to understand your options and guide you down the path of learning what is going to be best for you. To schedule an initial consultation, please call 252-215-3000 or fill out our contact form below. Protecting your Privacy ~ Your privacy is our primary concern. At Irons & Irons, we understand the importance of protecting your privacy and will never share your contact information with a 3rd party.