I love facebook. Okay? There. I admitted it. Aside from the fact that it’s amazingly helpful in promoting one’s business (or blog and books, in my case,) I think it serves several different great purposes, including renewing old friendships, sharing photos, providing a quick break from a stressful day with some funny posts, and even getting to see people’s editorial comments on current events. But when it comes to facebook and divorce, there’s something that goes on on the largest social media outlet in the world and it’s actually really hilarious and obvious. I call it “facebook divorce behavior.”
Facebook divorce behavior is exhibited with ulterior motives that range from flirting, trying to get dates, letting people know about a change in romantic status, making sure your ex finds things out about you (that you want him or her to know) and trying to sell yourself as a great catch.
I’m in the divorce demographic, and I use facebook, so I’m not judging. I’m simply writing what I’ve observed over the past few years as a divorced person who has both engaged in facebook divorce behavior, and who has been a victim of it.
Here are 5 examples of facebook divorce behavior
1. They “Like” your post: A friend of mine who is divorced said to me the other day, “There should be a “like” button and a “really like” button on facebook. Why? Her theory is, some people “like” your posts and/or photos because they are seeking a way to get back into your life. Hitting “like” on one of your posts could mean, “I just broke up with someone and I know you are divorced and I want an entry into to your life somehow.” Think about it. “Liking” someone’s post is a great way for the person to say, “Hmm…he ‘liked’ what I had to say. Maybe he wants to go out with me.” If you fall for that, you have just become a victim of facebook divorce behavior. Not that that’s a bad thing! I’m just saying, what’s behind a “like” could be more than a like.
2. They friend strangers who are friends of their facebook friends: Have you ever been friended by someone you have never heard of or seen? This “friend” could be engaging in facebook divorce behavior. This could be his or her way of meeting you. Again, not a bad thing. Just be prepared. A divorced friend once went through my facebook friend list and sent me a list of every woman on there he would like to go out with. He then friended all of them. Over half were married, fyi. So, next time you get friended and you have no clue who the guy (or girl) is, it could be someone trying to date you.
3. They send live messages: You’re sitting at your computer on facebook, and suddenly an instant message pops up from a guy you dated a few months ago. “Hi,” it simply says. You have no idea how to respond. You sit there nervously trying to figure out what to say. Another message pops up. “How are you?” Now you know you have to answer. It would be really rude to sign off of facebook without a reply at this point. This is the guy’s way of starting up with you. It can actually be very flattering and great if it’s the right timing for you. I think it takes a lot of guts for someone to do that. I’m a fan. But, if a live facebook message (or any message) is the last thing you wanted from this person, it puts you in a tough position.
4. Their profile picture is always just a pic of them, a pic of their kids, or a pic of them AND their kids: In my opinion, if you really want to find out if someone is single and/or divorced, all you have to do is look at their profile picture and you can tell immediately. I’ve seen quite a few pics that have been cropped, and you can see part of a female or male arm in the photo. LOL! Not making fun of those people. If it’s a good picture, I’d use it, too!
5. They check in everywhere they go: So and so is at Morton’s. So and so is at Wrigley Field. So and So in in the Los Angeles airport. So and so is at the United Center. Hey so and so? We’re not your babysitter or your mom, and we don’t have to know where you are every three minutes.
I’ll say it again. I love facebook. AND, I love divorced people. I get them. I am one of them. This blog isn’t about slamming anyone for engaging in facebook divorce behavior, it’s about recognizing what it is.
And lastly, in some cases there might be a better way of getting what you want than facebook divorce behavior.
For example, instead of blindly friending someone, why not pick up the phone, call your facebook friend and ask if he or she will set you up? And, instead of sending “hi” in your live message, why not say, “I was wondering if I could give you a call. I’d really like to catch up.” Too many people hide behind facebook because it’s safer than calling someone, where you have to engage in live voice conversation. What happened to taking risks by picking up the phone? As far as checking in goes, instead of posting that you’re there, take a little break from facebook to actually just enjoy the place!