Facebook: Is it Responsible For a Rise in Infidelity?
Friends or Sins?
It's not my fault!
It appears we're currently living in a time where if something negative happens in our lives a third party is always to blame. If we're fat blame the low cost of "fast food".
If you suffer from nicotine addiction, blame "the cigarette manufacturers"
Last but not least if your spouse or significant other leaves you blame "the internet and social networks".
Social networks are all the rage these days.
Just about everyone under the age of 50 has an account with MySpace, Twitter, Tagged, or the flavor of the month, Facebook.
The following excerpts come from a recent article in the Huffington Post
"The Rev. Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church have run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.
"What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great."
On Sunday, he plans to "strongly suggest" that all married people to stop using Facebook, lest they endanger their marriage.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in divorce cases over the last five years,
"A do-it-yourself divorce site in the United Kingdom, Divorce-Online, reported late last year that the word "Facebook" was appearing in about one in five of the petitions it was handling."
The problem with blaming third parties for all of our bad circumstances is we negate the existence of CHOICE.
A few years ago a suburb of Los Angeles was protesting a proposal to build a Wal-Mart within their community. The claim was it would hurt small businesses, employees of Wal-Mart were underpaid and lacked quality insurance benefits, and no one in the area wanted to see the store built.
Based upon the information presented to the city council it appeared to me if Wal-Mart came to town they would be out of business within six months.
After all no one wanted to work there due to the low salaries and bad benefits. No one would shop there because of their “strong loyalty” to the neighborhood businesses. It was clear no one wanted to "Save Money, Live Better" as touted in their store ads.
Why was there any need to protest the store to begin with? What were the citizens really asking their local government to do?
Answer: Protect Us From Ourselves!
Deep down they must have known once the store was built it would be difficult to spend $12 for a hammer at Carry’s Hardware while knowing they could purchase the same hammer at Wal-Mart for $6.
Essentially the people at the meeting didn't want the opportunity of "choice" or "free will".
Reverend Miller appears to be of the belief that having a "choice" equals temptation.
His asking the members of his church to cancel their Facebook accounts is designed to save marriages from having to deal with the issue of infidelity.
"Remove the choice, remove the temptation"
The problem with this reasoning is Facebook as well as the internet and other "social networks" are nothing more than a tool.
A fork can be used to eat a salad or to eat a large hunk of double fudge chocolate cake!
Would anyone dare suggest you get rid of your forks?
Just because something can be used by an individual to cause harm does not mean the item itself is inheritably evil. After September 11th no one called for the end of air travel!
Infidelity is a choice that begins with one's state of mind.
People who are inclined to cheat have always found a way to do so.
If a person does not want to do something they are not likely to do it.
It's legal to smoke and drink but not everyone chooses to do so.
To claim victory in the battle against infidelity the war must be fought in the hearts and minds of the inviduals contemplating an act of betrayal.
A person who is unhappy in her/his marriage and has communicated their needs to their partner to no avail may come to the conclusion that cheating is a easier way to meet their needs versus going through a divorce.
It takes courage to walk away from a known situation in order to pursue a dream.
Three Basic Types of Cheaters
The Incessant Cheater
This individual has no intention of honoring any vow or promise they make.
He or she is always looking for the next thrill or something "new".
Their motto is "Variety is the spice of life."
The Unbelievable Opportunity Cheater
This person actually intends to be faithful and is not "looking " to betray their partner.
They give into temptation when an "unbelievable opportunity" presents it'self.
A business trip involves meeting with an extremely attractive person who shows interest in them, a girl or guy they had a crush on in school comes to town and wants to "hang out" and last but not least a famous celebrity or politically powerful person offers what appears to be "A once in a lifetime opportunity" to have sex with someone of their stature.
Their motto is in line with Oscar Wilde's famous quote.
"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it"
The Discontented Cheater
This person believed they found their soul-mate and never dreamed they'd be considering cheating.
Unlike The Incessant and The Unbelievable Opportunity Cheater, The Discontented Cheater feels as though his/her partner is forcing them to "seek other options" outside of their relationship. The most common reason given by them is their partner neglects them physically or emotionally. It's not a stretch for them to feel "justified" in seeking other ways to fill a need which is not being met. Depression often serves as motivation to take a risk.
Octavio Paz said, "A flower without a stem, is beauty waiting to die. A heart without love, is a tear waiting to cry".
Regardless of where we might find ourselves, cheating or being cheated on:
We must not forget each of us chose our own friends, lovers, and spouses.The decisions/conclusions we made came from within our minds. Any attempt to blame Facebook or anything else outside of ourselves for our behavior is an act of disempowerment. To have choice and free will is to have power. Hopefully overtime we gain enough wisdom to make the best choices for ourselves.
One of the traits that separate adults from children is "Adults take responsibility for their actions."
You are responsible for your own happiness!
According to the latest news update Rev. Miller isn't exactly a moral role model,
"The Rev. Cedric Miller, who made headlines last week for ordering 50 married officials at his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church to delete their Facebook accounts or resign, once testified that he had group sex with his wife and a male church assistant."