Divorce used to be a lot easier. Oh, not because of changes in divorce laws or family courts, but because the worst that could happen is that you’d cause a scandal in your neighborhood. Outside of maybe your mom, your close friends and your shrink, few knew all your dirty details.
Only the rich and famous had their breakup dramas exposed on the front page or turned into best-sellers, like Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, a fictionalized account of how her husband, Watergate legend Carl Bernstein, dumped her.
But the Internet has changed that — now everyone’s dirty laundry can go viral. Exes can rant on Craigslist, vilify you on DontDateHimGirl.com or ihateher.com, send naked pictures of you over their cell phones or on YouTube, post nasty things on Facebook or tweet them on Twitter, and blog about what a no-good cheating jerk you are.
It’s a really tough time to be an ex.
After a divorce, we’re hurt, sad, angry, confused — a bundle of emotions that need a healthy outlet to be expressed so we can eventually move on. Expressing sadness over a split may get you “liked” on Facebook and followers on Twitter, but dissing an ex online could get you sued. Pittsburgh lawyer Todd Hollis filed two lawsuits against Don’tDateHimGirl.com after some former women he dated accused him of being “a poorly dressed womanizer” and infecting women with herpes.
Last year, Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX and electric car company Tesla Motors, responded to his ex-wife’s blogging about him with a post on Huffington Post. “Much as one may wish for privacy, in the 21st century it just doesn’t exist,” he said. Nor does everyone have a platform to correct the record.
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