Facebook is electronic lipstick - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Facebook is electronic lipstick

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Facebook is known for reuniting old friends, family and even coworkers. And that's not a bad idea. However, what's posted on Facebook and other social media websites can become as part of the reason for divorce.

In the court of law facebook can be considered as electronic lipstick. Meaning it's electronic proof that an affair actually took place.

From pictures, to comments, and different games on Facebook, all of it can be used as evidence. Things that are posted on Facebook can turn up in court.

"Certainly 20, 15 and 10 years ago we did not see face book used as evidence or even in issue in divorce cases," said divorce lawyer Kelly Boswell. However things have changed a lot since then.

"Even for the first consultation with someone thinking about divorce it's common for there to be some mention of face book ruining their marriage," said Boswell. 

But it's not Facebook itself that's the problem. "A lot of cases where people come in their initial contact on Facebook starts our very innocently," said Marriage Counselor Dr. Diane Cerjan. 

But reuniting with old flames can spark a wildfire in your marriage. "They can start a relationship, and a little flirting; which may have been their relationship in the beginning," said Dr. Cerjan.

"Primarily , the picture I am seeing that people post can give spouses a whole lot of clues," said Boswell. And Facebook users tend to think the privacy settings actually protect what is posted.

"However you have no way of confirming people through electronic communication are who they say they are," said Boswell.  And not being open about what you post on Facebook can make you look guilty.

"Even if your're not having an affair with that person it will certainly look like you are," said Boswell. "And when you have a lack of trust then that spouse may want to see your account even if your're not doing anything," said Dr. Cerjan.

Experts say talk about what's missing in your relationship. So you won't have to go looking for it online. The marriage counselor said that 60 to 70 percent of her patients argue over social media.

 Sometimes it's hard for couples to disconnect between real life and life online. And the best solution is to talk before issues arise. ©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved. Feedback