Are you a habitual social media creeper? Do you find yourself unable to visit your child’s social media page without taking just a little peek at your ex’s page? Or your ex’s new love interest’s page? Or maybe just a few other pages that are connected to your child’s page? You’re not alone. It’s not healthy or recommended, but you’re not alone.
Morally and ethically, using your child’s social media as a way around the security settings of your ex’s accounts is wrong on many levels. Still, people do it every day. There are countless reasons why someone might want to peek at their ex’s social media pages. Unfortunately, it rarely provides the “peeker” with anything but aggravation.
In the best case, you creep along your ex’s page, and you learn (what you believe is) the most damning and obvious evidence that your ex told a lie or caught themself up in something. Great! But now that you know about it, what can you do about it other than stew? A lot of people think that they can just print off the page and take it to court. That’s rarely the case. In many scenarios, that could backfire. It may leave you with a stalking charge or some other privacy breaching charge that negatively impacts your credibility.
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In the worst-case scenario, you learn nothing of value, but your child comes out of the experience feeling used and unappreciated for anything but their link to satisfying your curiosity.
Now, what about the other parent? At some point, they’re going to find out you were creeping them. Whether the social media tells on you, or your child lets it slip, or you challenge your ex directly or make comments indirectly that they pick up on, it’s very likely to be found out. Your ex will feel violated. It may even bolster your ex to retaliate in some way against you and/or your child. Your ex may also blame your child for allowing you access.
Social Media Stalking & The Repercussions:
While in the short run, a little peek seems like it wouldn’t hurt anyone, it could very well negatively impact your child’s view of you and the relationship between your child and all parties. Often your actions may have the unintended effect of pushing your child toward the other parent because the child sees the other parent as the underdog or as treated unfairly.
Social media can be a valid tool for gaining information and for reporting to the courts, but you can compromise your integrity or the integrity of your evidence in the process. Additionally, you should never compromise your child’s integrity to get to your goal. The process of separation, divorce and the new normal after can swallow a person and feel isolating. At some point, however, both parents are likely going to need to come to common ground. Actions like creeping your ex’s social media not only damage that relationship but they also leave the “peeker” in a position where they are repeatedly being exposed to upsetting information and therefore reliving the issues instead of healing from them and moving forward.
Depending on the social media you access, the device you use to access it and the path you take online, it can be possible to reveal whose been “peeking.” Keep that in mind when you research an ex.