Recently Brian Dollar, a Children’s Pastor and blogger, wrote on the subject of posting on Social Media and tweeting. The “T.H.I.N.K. Before You Post/Tweet” had some excellent ideas in it.
Brian is also a friend of mine and he has given me permission to use excerpts from his post but really everyone should go to Brian’s site and read the entire post.
Here are some excerpts from the “T.H.I.N.K Before You Post/Tweet” that can apply to everyone and especially to the divorcing and separated couple.
If it isn’t true – don’t say it.
Is what you are planning to say helpful to the listener?
Your words can either build up or tear down.
This might just be the first question you need to ask. Is it necessary? If not, it most likely would be best left unsaid.
Is what I am about to say harsh? Or, is it gentle and kind? Harsh, unfiltered words are always better left unsaid.
Brian’s words should be shared with all divorcing people, separated couples and single parents that share on Social Media.
Here are a few more thoughts children’s ministers and church leaders should be aware of when visiting with divorcing couples or single parents that are already divorced.
The do nots
- They should not talk to their divorcing partner on any social media like Facebook where other people can read their messages
- They should not pour out their frustrations about their ex to their “friends” as the entire world can read it if it’s shared
- Many single parents will like to brag about their dating life to everyone – this is a big do not!
- They should not share about newfound financial wealth such as a raise or newly acquired in heritance, etc.
- They should not try to make their ex partner jealous
- They should not carry on arguments with their ex about anything on Social Media or in tweets
Why the do nots
- Many divorcing people are Christians and pouring out all of one’s frustrations in the heat of the moment can affect their Christian witness. While a person might not care about their witness when lamenting about their ex or complaining to him or her, later when they have calmed down they will be embarrassed at the representation of Christ they have beheld.
- Hurtful messages might also affect one’s court proceedings. Hot tempers don’t fare well in a court of law when a judge is considering custody and or visitation.
- Some of the topics shared such as dating, trips with their newfound love, etc. could very well be brought into court hearings and it might affect visitation and even custody.
- Cell phone messages can also be called into court.
- Simply erasing messages or deleting a social media account won’t solve the problem of sending hurtful messages, as one could be help in contempt of court for obstruction of justice.
A few more thoughts
- If a divorcing situation is hostile, the two adults should not be talking to each other on social media or tweeting one another about visitation or the exchange of children. This type of discussion should be done via texting or on the phone.
- Discussion about bills or other financial issues ordered by the court should only take place via texting, on the phone or in person.
- In a situation where one person is afraid of the ex spouse there should not be any discussion of day-to-day events on any social media.
- From the article “Facebook Can Cost You Your Children” we read, “Send a mass e-mail out to your friends informing them not to tag you in photos, write anything compromising on your walls, or send you any messages related to your legal dispute.”
Some of this discussion might seem foreign or unreasonable to many church leaders but these are thoughts that will help and assist the divorcing couples in your midst.
While I’d like to quote Brian where he says, “You need God’s help to filter your words – to help you THINK before you speak/post” divorcing people many times just don’t live in reality. Many times their anger supersedes any rational thought process and this is where they need those of who are sane and in control of our thoughts to step in and help them survive.