Thursday, December 29, 2011

is technology causing you to cheat?

Malaysians rank third in the world for being the
most unfaithful partners (following behind Thailand at the top spot and South
Korea at second place). It is also interesting to note that Malaysians are also
avid social media users, as reported by comScore Inc, a leading Internet
marketing research company that provides worldwide digital usage. The report
suggested that social networking, particularly Facebook, accounted for one
third of all time spent online in Malaysia.

It may be presumptuous to say that the two could be connected.
However, research shows that technology is increasingly being blamed for the
increasing rate of extramarital affairs and divorces. A study from Melbourne’s
Swinburne University found that out of the 1,000 people surveyed, almost half
of those who found romance online were in relationships at the same time. Even
divorce lawyers in the US are demanding to see their clients’ Facebook pages
before going ahead with the case to make sure that nothing can be used against
their clients.

So why is technology making it easier for people to cheat? We take a
closer look.

Technology, especially the Internet, has created a whole new
platform for would-be cheaters. On the innocent side, it allows you new ways to
reconnect with an old flame via social media network sites. On the other
extreme, there are websites that have made it easier for people to post up ads
looking for no-string attached affairs (think Craigslist and adult websites). Then
there is sexting and chexting (cheating via text messages). If before it would
have been more difficult to get into an affair and maintaining it, now
technology has made it so easy and tempting to be in one.

That’s all it took for ex-US Congressman Anthony Weiner to send his naked photo
to a woman over Twitter (that’s also the one click that ruined his political
career). Technology makes it so easy to do everything now – find information,
shop online and yes, even cheat. It is infidelity at your fingertips, where you
can take your affair with you everywhere you go. Have smartphone, can cheat.

This one is for the ladies – women are more likely to pursue affairs
online because of the medium’s emotional appeal. The Internet allows us to be
someone we feel we cannot be offline. This can lead to women sharing more than
they normally do online, whether it is with a complete stranger or a rekindled
male friend. And because of its engaging nature, one might feel ‘connected’
(even if bytes away) with the other person across the computer screen. Cue:
emotional affair that could potentially lead into a physical one.

Yes, technology makes thing move faster, especially where
communication is involved. But it also helps to accelerate a potential affair
into a full-blown one almost quite instantly. Mainly because of the amount of
time we spend over the Internet, which allows us to be constantly in touch with
one another. Also, research backs up that the Internet increases the speed of
an online affair turning into a physical one. A survey done by a men’s magazine
revealed that 80 percent of women claim that technology has increased the speed
at which they will jump into bed because it is easier to stay connect.
Fifty-eight percent of men admit that Facebook, texting and Google Chat
flirting has helped them have sex with women sooner while 38 percent of women
say they’ve slept with a love interest sooner because of digital intimacy.

First, there was the mobile phone where you could connect with one
another regardless of location. Then, there was e-mail, which made communication
easier and harder to trail. Now, we have Facebook, which connects you to those
you otherwise wouldn’t meet or renew friendships with. With this comes a new
avenue for potential affairs to begin – whether online with a stranger or one
that translates to a physical one with an old flame. While Facebook helps you
find old friends whom you’ve lost touch with, it also gives you the opportunity
to wonder about an ex. And before you know it, you are making contact via
Facebook, first innocently to find out what’s been happening, which can then
potentially become the first step to rekindling your relationship.

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