Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is Nothing Sacred?

As if Facebook wasn't bad enough, serving as a useless time vacuum sucking in people away from their real lives to occupy a self-interested online vortex where friends are mouse clicks rather than real people, it turns out that Facebook can also nail you if you're cheating on your partner.

While it's well-known that suspicious spouses will use phones and other techniques to spy on their cheating mates, it appears that Facebook has made catching a thief a whole lot easier, particularly when that thief is dumb enough to broadcast to the world that they're successfully cheating and getting away with it.

It's funny that it used to be a source of shame to be having an affair, that there used to be an actual social stigma associated with cheaters and that in certain places, the local known 'cheater' often became a social pariah. But now, it appears that not only is cheating socially acceptable, it's also become something of a source of pride for people, who brag about their exploits to their many online friends and even create separate accounts to keep track of their numerous conquests.

An article posted to today tells the interesting and twisted story of a woman who found out that her husband had a second wedding through his Facebook account. It's a rather convoluted story where the husband denies that they were ever married, despite their wedding ceremony having been performed off the coast of Italy, facilitated by a wedding company that still features their wedding pictures as part of their advertising campaign on their current website. The husband then got engaged to a new woman in a different state, proposed to her, and then married her in a Walt Disney Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty ceremony. He then posted these photos to his Facebook account, because, of course, wives don't look at Facebook and women don't google their partners online.

Further to this craziness, the husband then decided that he had enough of divorce proceedings from the wife he claims he's not married to and then stole the 2 children from the home that he shares with his not-wife and ran off with them to the home of his Sleeping Beauty Facebook wife.

The most hilarious part about reading this article, with its tangled web of lies, deceit and audacity, is this line here:

"Aftab, a lawyer who runs the online protection site, says the lesson to be learned from the Frances' case is that no form of communication is sacred anymore."

Is nothing sacred? Facebook, MySpace, cell phones? Oh dear Lord, say it isn't true! A man can't cheat on his wife and then brag to the public about it because his communications can and will be used against him? Who would have thought that incriminating text and photos could be so, well, incriminating? And who would have thought that (gasp!) they could be used against you?

It surprises me that the observation was made that communication forms are not sacred anymore, but the person didn't mention that other sacred thing which is obviously being undermined in this situation: marriage. Once considered a sacred institution, marriage is more in danger than ever of becoming as obsolete as the paper it comes on. Why? Well, with more opportunities to cheat and to become anyone that they want to be online, the inconveniences of working at a relationship and the unpleasantness of real human contact may just be a thing of the past.

Is this man really astonished that communication forms can be used to catch cheaters and is not in the least astonished by the selfish and mean behavior of actually being a cheater?

Betraying someone's trust is probably more damaging than having unauthorized people peek at your online profile where you aired your dirty laundry in the first place.

I'm guessing that the conversation to follow would look something like this:

"How dare you betray my trust and love for you by marrying another woman behind my back and then adding to the humiliation by posting happy photos of you online for all of your friends and family to see? And what if our 2 children had seen it? They would then know that you're a cheat."

"How dare you look at my Facebook page when I haven't right clicked your request to be added as a friend?"

It's pretty obvious where the bigger crime is.

Is nothing sacred? Is there no way to protect a man or a woman's right to cheat on their spouse and then brag about it in peace?

Who would have thought that behavior online would have such real consequences in real life?

The real lesson here is not that no form of communication is sacred. The real lesson is that mean, underhanded and sneaky behavior should be kept to oneself and not shared with the world. Cover your tracks, people! Facebook can't save you from shame.

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