With the rising number of spouses signing contracts to protect their online reputation, Igniyte asks; are social media prenups the new reputation essential?
The Potential Harm of Social Media
The popularity of social media, along with the authority such sites have on search engines such as Google, mean that one negative post on a social media profile can spread like wildfire, shooting up page one on Google for your search term, causing a significant degree of damage to your online reputation.
So naturally, in the modern world we are all at risk of this social media danger, however some people in our lives pose a greater risk than others. Basically, the closer someone is, the more they know about us, the more potential there is for them to have a sudden moment of insanity and post some embarrassing fact about you that will linger online like a bad spell. No one is closer than a partner or spouse.
Wouldn’t We All Love to Have A Way to Stop Them?
Of course, we love these people, but in a world with such instant access to social media platforms, we don’t always trust them to refrain from posting embarrassing things about us. Wouldn’t we all love to have a way to stop them?
Well, now we do, in the form of a social media prenup. A prenuptial agreement lists the responsibilities partners have towards each other during, and on the breakup of marriage; a social media prenup is an extension of that.
The Social Media Prenup
Typically, a social media prenup will include clauses that state that couples are not allowed to post, for example, nude or embarrassing photographs that could damage their partner’s reputation. They impose a penalty on the offending partner should they break the agreement. The penalty is often monetary.
The real question here is, why are they signing a contract rather than sitting down and simply talking about privacy? The answer seems to be that it sets the tone; by signing a contract, you’ve set the rules down early, and it prompts couples to sit down and have those privacy discussions that they probably wouldn’t have had otherwise, at a later date.
Social Media Prenups: A Case Study
ABC News featured a piece on the rise of the Social Media prenup, and spoke to Los Angeles-based relationship therapist Sheri Meyers, who explained how a social media prenup opened up a line communication in her relationship.
Meyers said “for me, it was about privacy, what is for us and what is for the world … so we needed that discussion,” and that now “what Jonathon and I do is he’ll say, ‘this an “SMP” (social media prenup] moment. Is this OK [to post)? Is this crossing the line?’ Its two sentences, versus a paragraph or an hour [discussion]. It’s not a big deal, anymore.”
We truly believe that social media prenups are the new reputation essential. This is not however, because of the punishment it inflicts for an infraction, but because it forces those closest to you, those who pose the greatest risk to your online reputation, to think before they post. That communication and consideration, makes all the difference in maintaining a positive reputation online.