I’ve been an observer all my life. I’ve come across couples from all walks of life with varied personalities, viewpoints and distinctive oddities. I’ve lost count of the number of times when a spouse, bored of his/her mundane life, surfs Facebook or Instagram to see if they can find out what their old loves are doing. Yes, social media cheating is the new buzzword in town where spouses are now worried about the contents of their partner’s online activities.
It’s as if these individuals were simply minding their own businesses, going about their days, and they suddenly found themselves looking up their old flames. Social media makes it so easy to reconnect with people that it all seems harmless at first. But the endless abyss is designed in such a way that before you know it, you are already looking up the entire history of someone you broke up with 12 years ago.
Old flames… lost loves…we all have our share of those. What if you get a chance to be reunited with your past love? What will your reaction be to such eventuality? It’s no secret that many of us carry all through our lives the memories of our past loves. We sometimes even wonder how remarkable or different our lives might have been with that other companion. But reconnecting with ex while married might not always be the best idea.
“You don’t actually look for your ex. It just happens,” says Alison, an acquaintance of mine, who has been married for 8 years. Uh, but I don’t think so. For a married person to reach out to one’s first love cannot be spontaneous; it requires planning and decision-making. Social media cheating is not the kind of thing that just happens randomly. When it does, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your stable relationship or marriage. The social media effects on relationships can truly be severe.
Social media and cheating can wreck a marriage
There is even a specific genre of dating sites that cater to this specific purpose. With sites like Reunion, Victoriamilan, Gleeden, etc., it has never been easier to look up and hook up with your old crush. “Married but looking for some extra fun and excitement?” asks DiscreetAdventures’s home page.
The site helps users “meet other attached women and men seeking discreet romantic affairs.” This kind of official social media infidelity is a bit of a scary thing. One can simply type in the maiden name of the one he or she was involved with. And voila! You get the present details of the person immediately. The boom in websites facilitating reunions of old friends with opening lines such as “Find people you’ve lost touch with…” has created a market for married people who want to catch up with ex-lovers, leading to infidelity. Internet infidelity plays havoc with an individual’s sense of worth and emotional self. Browsing the net, meeting an old girlfriend or boyfriend for a drink just to catch up after work, or double texting lengthy WhatsApp updates to a long-lost heartthrob can all seem relatively innocent.
But one late night communication often leads to another and another and another. The conversations become more and more personal. This is when you start becoming prey to social media cheating. Partners engaged in exclusive online affairs presume that it isn’t infidelity as long as no physical contact takes place. Not every online affair leads to a fiery, marriage-wrecking romance. “After all, life is short. We only have one go around, right,” says Alison. She has been meeting her ex over lunches for the past 3 months. “We have a very casual conversation. And we make it a point not to touch beyond a hug at the time of leaving. Now that doesn’t amount to me being a social media cheating spouse. Does it?” she defends.
“No, it doesn’t, as long as you do not believe in the term emotional infidelity,” I say in my mind. It is possible that you might need extensive social media boundaries in relationships. We don’t mean to worry you too much and set you on the path of monitoring everything your spouse is doing online. But perhaps a more transparent communication about such things won’t keep you in the dark.
Social media infidelity is hard to predict but don’t go snooping if there is no reason to. Here are some other signs of cheating for you to ascertain whether your partner might be social media cheating or not.