Divorce news tough to navigate on social media

By Stephanie McFeeters | Boston Globe

Like most celebrity couples going through a breakup, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog chose their words carefully. The decision to split, which they “announced” in a joint statement on social media Tuesday, came “after careful thought, thoughtful consideration, and considerable squabbling.”

Whether the couple involved is Muppet or human, the amicable public parting is, and always has been, celebrity PR fiction. It’s little more than ghostwritten damage control and a plea for the media to stay away.

Think of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. Their split was a “conscious uncoupling” — a term Paltrow recently revealed she did not coin. Or Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. They recently released a statement that said, “we go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting.” Marital dissolutions cordially etched in cyberspace, and so it must be — for celebrities.

Not so much for the rest of us.

Despite our fascination with Facebook and Twitter — and with sharing our most personal details online — posting about divorce remains a dicey social media proposition.

Bruce Watson, a Quincy divorce lawyer, said that in his experience couples tend to be discreet about separating, notifying friends and family members individually.

“Most divorce issues are painful and thus relatively private matters,” he said. “There’s too much rancor or emotional pain for them to be able to agree on a statement.”

Quite the opposite. More often than not, social media is a flash point for separating couples, rather than a space to diplomatically announce the news. [Read more…]