I recently read an article that said one-third of divorces are caused by Facebook!  I found this hard to believe. First, how do you measure something as complicated as the demise of a marriage and attribute it to one thing? Second, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t walking into anyone’s home and making them do anything that they don’t want to do.Hands with a computer keyboard.

Exploring what was said in that article further, the statistic actually was that Facebook is used as evidence in one-third of the divorce cases in the United Kingdom.  This I can believe. It is amazing what people, from age 16 to 60, post on-line, say in an e-mail, or text.  On a daily basis, I am forwarded e-mails, texts, and voice mails ranging from childish spats to outright criminal threats.

Not only is the content incredible, but the sheer volume is overwhelming.  I cannot imagine the number of hours that American businesses are losing as their employees spend their day emailing, texting, and posting.

Potential employers often Google candidates and look them up on Facebook.  Is your Facebook page private?  If so, what kind of photo, if any, can the public see?  A photo of you and your children tossing a ball, or a photo of you dressed up as if you are on your way to The Rocky Horror Picture show? Are you emailing from your current employer’s account on what is obviously your work time?  If so, the employer may wonder what you will do on her time if she hires you.

My general advice to clients is to ask themselves the following questions before putting information in an e-mail, text, or on-line:

  1. If you did not have the benefit of modern technology, would you write down what you want to say on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, address the envelope, buy a stamp and walk to the mailbox to send it? If the answer to this question is “no,” what you want to say is probably not that important.
  2. Is what you want to say longer than two sentences?  There is little of substance that needs to be exchanged that takes longer than that.
  3. Is a response required?   If you receive a text that says something derogatory, consider that your response may not change the sender’s mind and instead begin a war of words. My mother use to say if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.
  4. Is what you are writing something you will impress a judge with in court one day?
  5. Is what you are putting “out there” something you will be proud to have your loved ones see and remember you by one day? This is probably the most important question to ask oneself.

I am sure that princes have been drinking and carousing since the beginning of time.  However, as Prince Harry can tell you, without modern technology millions of people all over the world didn’t have the “blacked out box” to know or remember you by!

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