How do internet social networking sites figure into the ongoing problem of infidelity in relationships? There are many that say that certain sites have been the downfall of many of their relationships; and rightly so. Meeting people online has become universally easier since the advent and insurgence of sites like Facebook, Hi5, Myspace, Orkut, Habbo, Black Planet, Linked In. Grabbing your information and allowing you to search for people by sex, age, region and relationship status has opened up the ability to communicate to someone across the world.
So far, no problem right? Initially thought of as a great way to communicate with loved ones a continent away, the internet and it’s social mediums seemed like both a blessing and a necessity.
Enter the nefarious and devious types who use this outlet to create a false or doctored persona. With this information at hand, they are logging in under a phony username and bringing a story to the table that rivals a soap opera. The story might be true or it might be false. How does one check when you’re half a continent away or a city away? It’s hard enough for a spouse to find out their partner is cheating; how would you ever know it online? Before you know it, you’re hooked. You’re roped into a new world of intrigue and dangerous flirting with a virtual stranger. Unknowingly or knowingly you let this individual into your private thoughts and actions. If you’re ever questioning how much information this stranger is able to find out about you, just pick one of your “verbal” Facebook friends that you don’t know much about. One that you’ve become friends with because you play a game together. This sounds a little creepy but it’s a good experiment and a real eye opener. Monitor posts and like/comments, check out their profile page, engage them in conversation or on posts – for 2 weeks. Just 2 weeks and then write down the information that has been dropped without the person possibly even being aware of what they are telling you. The problem is that you and I are not wired to be deceptive or looking for someone to victimize, so we just let facts and snippets of people’s life and activities roll off our backs like water off of a ducks back. HOWEVER, if someone is looking for information, it is out there for the taking. Try googling people’s names that you know; you’ll be surprised at what might show. The internet is a trap-zone of information. As the years pass, more of our personal information will be out there for all to see. Good or bad.
Taking this one step further, let’s look at the impact that the internet and these same social networking sites have had in relationships. Cheating on a partner has been a classic problem in a society where more and more venues are available for those who look to cheat or live by their cheating ways. Here come the chat sites and the social networking availability and it just offers a plethora of ways in which to step out on your relationship if one is not committed to their partner. Wonderful, now we’ve compounded an age-old problem and made it easier for the low-downs to carry on behind our backs. We are not only allowing our spouses to cheat on us, we are basically letting the person that they’re cheating with right into our very homes. Before the internet age, the idea of being unfaithful to a partner meant physically meeting another person and sharing intimacy with them. Now, the idea of infidelity drops to a whole new level. Sending emails, instant messaging, cyber-sex, flirting in emoticons; you name it, it’s available. Now people with genuine interest in dating online now have to deal with the mistrust of many who have been burned by that Lothario or that Lolita who has lured them into a phony internet romance.
Let’s review this for a minute; within a matter of minutes, you can connect with an attractive person in a specific part of the world and carry on an anonymous affair. You could have met someone once and only once, but carry on an internet love affair where they are comfortably ensconced in their own form of deviant behaviours and you would quite literally be none the wiser. People, at liberty, can change their details, information and their relationship status to rope in their hopeful candidates. It’s a scary world out there sometimes and when you don’t have the capability or the desire to double-check a story; it’s amazing how few of us bother to question the motives of someone that you scarcely know. In short, we assume too much. We assume that these people like ourselves, are just looking for companionship. Again, the average person is not equipped to handle the deviant levels that some individuals claim as their credo. They love doing it and often times, they’re very good at it
Bottom line, cheating and infidelity occurs. The internet has just made it easier to do. If you have a good heart and are trusting, you may be a target. The best thing to do, is to play your cards close to your chest. Don’t give out information and don’t get caught up in a whirlwind online relationship before you get a chance to check out the background of the individual that you are talking with. There is a possibility that your next greatest love affair is with a married man or woman looking to escape the confines of their relationship. If your partner spends time on the computer until the wee hours of the nite or seems to have a “love connection” with their cell phone, be very wary.
Your protection is this. Try not to be emotionally needy, quickly giving out your personal information and likes/dislikes. Keep the relationship at an arm’s length (or at least a keyboard away). Remember this, if someone wants to cheat; they will. Whether these sites are available to them or not. The sites and technological age just offer more options to tempt the cheater. Protect your heart!
Register your relationship today; keep your lover honest and keep your family out of harm’s way!