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Friday, April 17, 2009

Social networking sites... make cheating easy

My motto for Facebook... “Facebook is for stalkers.” Think about it, it’s true. I would venture to guess the MAJORITY of people on these social networking sites are looking to flirt or hook up, not the minority. Do you really think the men on these sites are investing time to catch up with other GUYS they stopped talking to in highschool?! Trust me, most people are drawn in by the intrigue of what friend requests they may receive from the opposite sex. Sure it’s easy to convince ourselves that this is not the purpose of why WE or our PARTNERS are on these sites. It’s simple to believe that private settings mean you are protected from the hunt or being hunted - not so. Just because you know of your partner’s social networking sites and find nothing threatening – don’t be so quick to assume that is the extent of their online activity. ANYONE can create alternate email addresses or an online alias – one in which they distinguish themselves as single, available & looking to hook up.

Between Facebook, Myspace, Twitter.. and so many others – almost every single profile promotes your relationship status. Can you honestly say there is NO possibility that your partner has accounts you are unaware of? How much time does your spouse spend on the computer? Social networking is even promoted in many workplaces as a communication tool. If your partner has access to a computer at work – and who doesn’t? The door is wide open. Whereas before social networking, people might pick up on their partner spending time away from the house, etc – now it’s as easy as having a private email account – logging onto a social networking site and planning a lunchtime meet....

I always say, the more unexplained ‘outings’ your partner requires – or the late nights after work – are all MAJOR red flags!! Be aware...

These are just the regular social networking sites that can present such temptations. Nevermind the dating sites that are now available. There are even sites promoting casual encounters, no strings attached affairs, etc. Ashley Madison is specifically aimed at hooking up people who are married and wish to have an affair. For some reason so many people who find themselves initially intrigued by the attention or new conversations don’t really qualify their online ‘relationships’ as affairs. I say, anything you can’t do in front of your partner’s face – qualifies as an affair – that goes for anything you type in an email/chat too.

How to proceed if you feel there may be questionable behaviour happening in your relationship... There are certainly ways to educate yourself on how to search your computer for online sites that may have been viewed or photos that may have been looked at. Use Google to educate yourself on these techniques if you feel it might be worth a look to ease your mind – or confirm your suspicions. If it means downloading computer monitoring software – do it. If your partner is constantly viewing their blackberry for messages – even after business hours – it’s a fair scenario to ask to see for yourself if things are legit. All too many people are finding out about broken trust through their partner’s online profiles or activities. Be informed that the numbers are on the rise for people using social networking to lead double lives.

The best advice I can give is to be open about your online activities with your partner and expect the same thing in return. Be aware of work related activity on the computer as well – this is a common screen for other things. If you and your partner have nothing to hide from one another – there will be no risk of invading one another’s privacy. Conduct yourself online as if your partner was sitting right beside you... hopefully they will do you the same courtesy.

If you take the risk, prepare for the consequences. Not everyone who uses social networking sites is out to cheat – but be aware – many are and the numbers are on the rise.

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Cheers xo!



Fred said...

ohhhh please!!!!!

WTF, how can you just blanket label social networking this way. If your going to go this route then lets talk.

On the bases of what your saying you better check the phone bill for any unusual calls. Put a black box GPS recorder in the cars to track its location. Hey get the UV light to check for sperm in the underwear!

In the end cheating is cheating, you don't need social networks for that. Is it an enabler absolutely, but so is going to any bar! Hell walking downtown Toronto is an enabler with all the tail walking around.

Therefore I am forced to reject your post as simply fear mongering of social networks, that any stable, trust worthy based relationship can simply ignore.

chick in heels said...

Listen mister Freddie-pie ;o)

You walk in the store, most people buy - window shopping is for those with strong resistance and self control... If you are blessed enough to find yourself in a trustworthy relationship these days you are of the minority - but hey, that's a great minority to be in!!!!! Ask around,only 5% of couples are truly happy - probably less. I'd say most folks who need to branch out their friendships back to highschool and beyond are missing something in the here and now. Tell me a 'friend request' by a hot chick wouldn't raise an eyebrow of most guys you know... there's the opening - suddenly it's not just a girl walking down the street - it's personal - and personal means potential. Why do almost all of those sites post your relationship status???

Note, I didn't say ALL I said MOST. It is not fear mongering it is reality - most people would cheat if they thought they could get away with it, check the stats - (note: I did not say all) - social networking is a venue - in your words "an enabler" that's all I'm sayin.....

The rest of this banter requires a bottle of vino (or two...)

Cheers mate! Thanks for reading ;o)