Technology makes the world a smaller place. We’re able to talk to people from where ever we are using mobile telephones. We can connect with people from all over the world (and also with people from our pasts) with ease, via the internet. The worldwide web has, without a doubt, shrunk the world and lowered walls created by geographical borders.
Our access to technology enables us to make contact, exchange views and ideas, and to talk with people whom we might never have had the opportunity to meet a few years ago.
This broadens our horizons and experiences, brings new cultures and new people into our lives, and gives us a glimpse into a world that is not within the confines of our own.
What does technology have to do with affairs and infidelity?
One of the main ingredients in the mix of an affair is opportunity. Social media, email, Skype, and instant messaging all provide an almost effortless ability to create opportunities to meet an affair partner that might not otherwise have been possible.
There are many affairs that start out with the cheater making contact (or reconnecting) with someone on Facebook – Facebook affairs are surprisingly common. The faithful partner can often find themselves unable to understand how it was possible to develop a relationship with someone over the internet, to the extent that the cheater would enter into an affair with them. Today’s article explores relationship development via Facebook and gives an insight into its popular use for the instigation or exploration of relationship possibilities.
Many faithful partners whose cheaters have started their affairs through Facebook (the Facebook affair) blame the technology primarily for the affair. They come to loathe the whole concept of Facebook and it isn’t unusual to hear people claim that it is immoral, or that it is nothing more than a glorified hook-up site. Many partners whose cheaters had a Facebook affair assert that this type of technology is entirely responsible for the affair, and further assert that the affair would never have happened if Facebook had not been available.
Let’s be clear: The technology (be it Facebook, Twitter, or Xbox Live etc) is simply not the culprit in affairs. Facebook is not the bad guy, it didn’t make the affair happen, it didn’t cause the affair, it didn’t lure, seduce or entice someone into having an affair. The Facebook affair is nothing more than a label for the mode of communication and (perhaps) first contact/renewed contact.
The cheater makes the decision to cheat regardless of the ease of opportunity created by technology. A cheater who is open to an affair (or actively seeking one) will use whatever means are available to them to create the opportunity for themselves, either consciously or subconsciously. Facebook (and Facebook affairs) is a convenient scapegoat for both the cheater and the faithful partner to mitigate accountability.
A cheater may well take the easy options – it might explain why so many affairs are with less than stellar examples of humanity in the affair partner. It might also explain why some of the affair behavior is so seedy – motels, backs of cars, the lunch-break quickie.
A cheater will often create a personal narrative of fate, kismet, cosmic and divine engineering, or destiny, to explain why their affair partner is ‘the one’. “We met on Facebook for a reason – out of all the millions of people we found each other.” “The universe connected us and threw us together – there has to be a reason for it and we can’t ignore that.” “It’s destiny that two people so connected happen to work together as well.”
Facebook may well be an easy option to connect with other people. Skype may well be an easy option to have cyber-sex on webcams. ‘Disposable’ cell phones may well be an easy option to aid in the secrecy of an affair. Smartphone apps may well provide an easy option to mask affair activity. Craigslist may well be an easy option to line up hookers or find others with similar fetishes. In days gone by, it was the easy option to catch up with the town gigolo or good time girl at the local dance.
In all of this, the term, ‘easy option’ is pivotal. Options mean that there is a variety of choices, fidelity being one of them. Choice requires cognitive decision making. Cheaters DECIDE to cheat. Facebook doesn’t do that for them.
Affairs are not caused by Facebook any more than they are caused by telephones – both are just tools that the cheater and the affair partner use to communicate. In the Facebook affair, the affair is still the operative word – the Facebook part of it is irrelevant.
Facebook is a piece of software that simply does not have the capacity to coax someone into an affair. The culprit in an affair is the cheater, aided and abetted by the complicit affair partner.