Bethany Mandel pontificates on the burgeoning trend for "divorce selfies" ...
So where’s the new viral place people are taking selfies? At divorce court. The Washington Post reported on a couple, Shannon and Chris Neuman, who posted a selfie after filing for divorce—which to date has been shared over 37,000 times on Facebook. The Post explained what most of these “divorce selfies” have in common:
A common theme of #divorceselfies, no matter who posts them: The couples are always ecstatically, performatively happy. They’re optimistic about the future, and celebratory about the past. (A frequent, recurring caption: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”)
Often, the messages include lengthy references to co-parenting or to children, a sort of Instagram-age update to “staying together for the kids.” The Neumans, of Calgary, are especially effusive on this: Their kids, they write, will never have to choose between them.
.... We live in a post-divorce age, or so society and pop culture would like us to believe. Married folks don’t divorce anymore, they “consciously uncouple.” They are more mature than those who divorce, and they happily go on family vacations together; more recently, in the case of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, they sometimes still live on the same property for the sake of the children.
In this land of make-believe, divorce (supposedly) doesn’t affect the children because their parents don’t let it. Family vacations may start out like they have for Affleck and Garner—together—but if the Martin-Paltrow divorce is any indication, they don’t stay like that for very long. Eventually couples move on, start dating, and their lives inevitably do separate.
.... Despite the best efforts of many to obscure the results of divorce, the statistics don’t lie. FamilyFacts.org, a website devoted to the importance of family, highlights the undeniable reality in the United States for those in intact family units. Kids in them do better developmentally, emotionally, and academically and have fewer behavior problems and better social skills.
As a society, we seem to believe we have outfoxed the social ills of the past. Every decision taken in self-interest is celebrated. “Be true to yourself!” is the mantra of Millennials on relationships, jobs, and everything in between.
But for parents, it’s not that easy—or it shouldn’t be, at least.
On divorce, we haven’t quite figured out how to uncouple in a way that is painless for all involved, nor will we ever. A divorce is the death of a family and should be treated as such. Divorce selfies are no less ridiculous than funeral selfies.
Story is here.