Could our online lives be destroying our real world lives?
Apparently many people are using Facebook and other social networking sites to look up old flames or to find new ones. Many don’t see the harm in flirting with online contacts.
Divorce lawyers claim the explosion in the popularity of websites such as Facebook and Bebo is tempting to people to cheat on their partners.
Suspicious spouses have also used the websites to find evidence of flirting and even affairs which have led to divorce.
One law firm, which specialises in divorce, claimed almost one in five petitions they processed cited Facebook.
So is Facebook to blame?
As we all come to terms with new technology we need to be constantly examining the boundaries that are required to keep our relationships safe, but I can’t help wondering if we also need to re-visit and reinforce some old boundaries.
My marriage vows included a promise to ‘forsake all others’ and that goes for every part of life. I started this post asking if our online lives could be destroying our real world lives but that’s really a deceptive question. It’s a question which presupposes that those ‘two lives’ are somehow separate. They’re not. The real world real you is really the person punching the keys on the keyboard and it’s really you who is flirting with another real person via a real keyboard and computer somewhere else in the world. It may be on the other side of the planet or next door, but real people are involved.
I talk about my family a fair bit on both Facebook and my blog. I’m not leaving anything open for interpretation. I love my wife and whether I’m at home, at work, out with friends or online, people should be in no doubt that I will continue to forsake all others.
I don’t buy the argument that flirting is just light hearted fun. Whether it’s online or offline, if you’re married, flirting should be reserved for your spouse.
So is Facebook fueling divorce? I don’t think so. I think it simply provides another opportunity for people to act out the things that are already in their hearts.
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