In an age of common internet affairs, can trust only be achieved when sharing all things social?
A friend's status post on Facebook today inquired opinions on the idea of couples who jointly obtain social networking accounts. The world has gone beyond the presence of shared banking, to proving yourself trustworthy only if by agreeing to shared online profiles. Of course there will be defenders for and against the option. So far, I've only witnessed married folks participating in this action, and I say, to each his own. Rountinely, it is the wife who pulls it altogether, The Mighty Oz behind the curtain running the show, usually because the husband has agreed to it and could care less about social media to begin with. He's aware that the mrs. enjoys being able to share their life together with their joint friends and family in one simple, unified swoop.
Anything wrong with that? Absolutley not.
But there is a darker side that most aren't paying attention to or flat out choose to sweep under the rug in hopes that the infectious online infidelties so many of us catch wind of won't find its way into our own 'safe' relationships. A man and a woman may hit it off, cohabitate, maybe even marry, and blissfully enjoy the perks of being a twosome. They both come together already bearing their own independent social sites and it has never been an issue. Then one day, the man casually scopes out his ladies page when he notices a male from her respected friends list, seemingly 'liking' and commenting on her page. Often. Some of the posts even wreak of a (hopefully) innocent flirtation, but it's hard for him to ignore. Said man then begins to routinely focus on this one friend and creates an endless array of deceptive scenarios in his mind that may or may not even be there solely out of his own insecurities. He then goes to his gal with questions, maybe even 'off the top of his head' suggesting they share an account or swap passwords 'just because', when in reality he's looking for a roundabout way to snoop and confirm his suspicions without directly communicating his concerns to her instead. Mind you, similar scenarios such as this can go either way, it always varies on the person themselves, not the gender.
Let me share my own personal story of online treachery; A couple boyfriends back, I was engrossed in the worst relationship of my life. Sure, like most, it didn't start out that way. We were on good terms for the first couple months before things slowly began to slip, barreling into a full on avalanche of agonizing shit. The first technological red flag presented itself with his cell phone behavior. It would sound off this irritating ping, and he'd salivate and/or laugh at whatever text/picture he was being sent. Nine times out of ten when I would ask what it was, he'd shrug me off with, "It's nothing," said always with a devious smirk on his face to boot. Needless to say, his words meant null to me, and my gut was twisting up regularly thinking that something wasn't right. Did I stay and put up with it? Of course, because that is what sad twenty-two year old naive girls fresh out of a failed marriage and no self esteem do.
After a stretch of abuse that I've written of before in previous articles, he followed me to my second place of residency. Between a state of hanging around incessantly and mooching off whatever I would provide whether it was money or food, he would disappear for mere hours or long overnighters elsewhere whenever the mood struck him. Sure, he wasn't on any of my rental leases while we were together, and we weren't technically living together, but he lingered around enough to have been considered an occupant. This new apartment is where his shadiness got worse. I woke up around two in the morning in the summer of 09' to fetch a cup of water from the kitchen. As I opened my bedroom door, there was my boyfriend, clicking out of an online chat on msn. Even through my drowsy haze I very well saw what he was doing. When I asked who he was talking to, he flat out looked me in the eye and denied talking to anyone and that it most certainly wasn't msn messenger.
Did I believe him? No way.
Did I let the issue lay and just accept he would never tell the truth? Hell no.
I waited until he was gone the next day seeing whomever he claimed he was seeing so that I could check the history on my computer (let's not forget, this was MY apartment and MY computer he was festering on. I had every right to look where I wanted, so long as my intuition wouldn't let the feelings go). He had erased all traces of his activity. What a sneaky bastard. I decided right then and there that I could just wait and hope that I would catch him in the act on some other night, or I would look for a way to find out his activities without his knowledge of my observations. I did a little research and came across PC Pandora, an online spying software that no one but the purchaser would be aware of. Mulling over the pros and cons of morphing into a manic Harriet the Spy, I decided that $75 was more than a fair price tag for my sanity of knowing if I was or wasn't being lied to. Do I recommend the program? Yes, but only as an absolute last resort, if you have unbearingly high suspicions that your partner is lying or cheating, and only if there is solid evidence of bad behavior going on.
So I paid, installed it, and waited for him to make a move. Sure enough, within a matter of twenty-four hours, he had been prowling Craigslist for women to sleep with. He had been in contact with well over a handful, and according to certain email exchanges from another