Social Networking and Affairs
The advent of social networking (facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Ryze, Second Life, etc.) has opened the door to easier infidelity wide open. With a few clicks, you can access many single or available people in a specific geographic area.You can easily locate old boyfriends, girlfriends and people you had the hots for. It is not difficult for someone to maintain profiles on several sites that show a side of themselves that your spouse rarely sees. It is a place where your alter ego or another you can be shown to the world.
Not only is it easy for you, it is easy for your spouse. They do not have to go down to the local bar, or dance location to ‘hook-up’. All they have to do is connect with someone with a few clicks. They can also connect with them in the confines of the home. Whereas in previous decades, you could catch a cheater by tracking their work schedule, in the 21st century, you have to watch where ‘their fingers do the walking’.
If the social networks themselves did not pose enough dangers of re-igniting old flames,there are even social network sites specifically for infidelity and swingers. These sites allow for special profiles and ways of hiding your identity from prying eyes. They also provide excuses for your spouse to scratch their desire for ‘something different’.
Studies have also been done which identify which social network site is the easiest to meet up with members of the opposite sex. The finding was that MySpace provides the fastest results. The social network sites used to make connections are not limited to just the traditional social network sites. Craigslisthas increasingly become a favorite way for people to meet. Craigslist is not just about selling and finding ‘things’ anymore, its is also about people. There are also sites which encourage meetups with persons that share common interests. These findings show that your spouse scouring Craigslist does not mean that they are safe from having an affair.
Meeting people through the internet is often easy, but they also carry with them some risks as well. Some of the innocent meetings with internet connections have turned into crimes of passion or sting operations. Just because the person you are talking to or your spouse is talking to says they are a 45-year old woman, they may actually be an adventurous 13-year old of a 59-year old law enforcement officer. The ability to hide behind the profiles works both ways. When some users try out a ‘new’ side of themselves, it may be a different age, gender, or orientation.
Social Networking and Business
Since many businesses now have pages on social network sites, it is becoming more common for people to spend time on the social network sites, even at work. All the Fortune 500 companies have a presence on social network sites. The businesses maintain a presence to conduct more business. The greater exposure also means greater exposure for your spouse as well if the company allows or encourages employees to maintain a profile. Your presence often links to your spouse’s presence as well.
If your spouse works for one of those Fortune 500 companies, they may be on the social network sites as part of their job. Once on the sites, it is easy for boundary lines to blue.
Once on the social network site, a person can send e-mail, pictures and share information. This kind of sharing makes it easy for affairs to develop. Since you can do this at work, there is little suspicion from your spouse that you may be crossing the line into prowling for a paramour. On the site, vital contact information can be obtained making it easy to connect with a lover. Work place environments have always been risky for cheating. The new technology and social networking makes it even riskier.
You may have awakened to the danger of cell phones and text messaging to as a means of cheaters contacting their paramours. Cell phones are easier to track than social network sites. Although the sites make it easier to hide some of your interactions from vigilant eyes in the short run, it does not mean they are without risk. Like Moses once said, “You sins will find you out”. In the internet world, your tracks and cookies will eventually find you and your spouse out as well.
There are also the situations where the old flames are trying to find you. People who you wanted to stay in your past may find you and try to reconnect. The new technology makes it easier for old flames to stalk you and make unwanted advances. Explaining those unwanted advances to your spouse can be awkward. It is always best to let them know rather than they discover the messages and put you on the spot to explain what is going on. When it looks fishy, they will assume it is fishy.
Those old flames of your spouse may attempt contacting them as well. Boyfriends or girlfriends that had a stalker mindset pose potential threats. They may have been a major threat in the past. With social network sites, stalkers now have powerful tools at their disposal to seek either you or your spouse.
Besides being a way to make infidelity easier, social network sites are also make it easier for people to get caught and prosecuted for their actions. Lawyers find the social networking sites a treasure trove of information that helps them in their cases.
So the next time you decide to go trolling for someone on MySpace or Facebook, remember that the ease of social contact, like the door, swings both ways. The social network sites make affairs easier to start, but also make it easier to catch in terms of courtroom evidence.
The social network sites also pose a threat to privacy. You or your spouse may not be looking for an affair, yet that does not protect you from people who are seeking an affair with you. The information provided on social network sites often opens the door for others to find out about you and make contact with you.
Since the social network sites also contain the capability of video uploading, the profiles are no longer limited to photos. The use of videos and tagging may reveal more about you than you had originally wanted. Others may tag pictures of you or your spouse that you did not know existed. The use of video upload has also led to the distribution of ‘private’ videos that you thought no one would ever see or have access to.
Reducing the threat
Some ways to reduce the potential danger is to talk with your spouse about your concerns and work together on solutions
1. Come up with some agreement with your spouse as to what information is safe to share.
2. Monitor your spouse’s social network profile pages.
3. Share passwords and access information with your spouse so that you can each check the others social network sites and profiles.
Some of the danger signs include
1. Using suggestive screen names
2. Being secretive about their computer activity.
3. Having secret e-mail or social network accounts.
4. Uploading provocative photos or videos of themselves.
5. The profile indicates that they are looking for members of the opposite sex or that they are available.
You can find out more at the author’s infidelity blog (www.SurviveYourPartnersAffair.com/blog) or his website (www.RestoreTheFamily.com ) where you can contact him regarding your issues, speaking engagement or other services he provides, including distance-based.
Nothing in this Work is intended to replace common sense, legal, medical or other professional advice. If your situation warrants it, please seek competent professional counsel.