Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do Facebook and Twitter Cause Affairs?

posted by Michele Olson

A recent article by Nancy Kalish, Ph.D. writing for Psychology Today asks a great question: Can an inanimate medium like Facebook and Twitter cause someone to betray their husband or wife?

Nancy points out that whenever a new media is invented, there are those who foresee the “end of civilization” and morality. Originally, people thought TV would never stick around and that it would cause people to stop reading all together.

She asks the question: Does Facebook guide your fingers to click until you find your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend?

Think about it: Do we go into some kind of old late night movie trance where we can’t control ourselves? Should technology be the scapegoat for reuniting people who then go on to inappropriate behavior?

According to Nancy’s research with reunited couples, there are more extramarital affairs than way back in the ancient 1990’s. Pre-social networking, we had to use people to find someone. Do you know what happened to so and so? Do you have their number?

Now, with social networking we can look for people casually, sometimes even by accident.

Her excellent point is this: Facebook is not the cause of marriages breaking apart. Facebook does not book hotel rooms. While social media can enable much more interaction, it does not cause affairs. It makes secrecy easier, but it still takes a person moving forward from contact that causes an affair.

So, if you think social media is to blame for any tendency you may have to have an affair…it’s time to become honest with yourself. While it may make the leap to this bad decision easier, the devastating result to your family, friends, and yourself will be the same.

In the end, to have an affair can’t be blamed on anyone or anything but your choices. With that in mind, make all your choices wisely.

It may make the most sense to treat social media just as you do any relationship outside of your marriage …with the proper boundaries, hedges and realization of what is possible. We still have the human brains behind the technology. We still make the decisions.

What do you think?

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