The words of Jamiroquai, one of my favorite musical artists, come to mind as I watch and listen to the news relating to cyber cheating, sexting, and other electronic misconduct, “Virtual insanity is what we’re living in.”
In light of the recent so-called “news stories”, there have been many high-profile celebs, politicians, etc. who have been the focus of social networking scandals. I’m sure there have been millions of regular, non-celeb types who have been caught up in social networking entanglements as well. Why are these virtual worlds so contagious, so tempting, so dangerous! People are literally ruining their lives and the lives of their families, giving in to these quasi worlds. A man is no longer married when he journeys into his virtual world of pretty “friends” who “like” him. A 35 year-old woman feels like a sex kitten, or more appropriately, a cougar to these young teens in her virtual world of tweets and DMs. A 13 year-old girl can post her way-too-grown-up bikini pics on Facebook and get tagged literally and figuratively until she becomes a shell of what she once was with big dreams of becoming an exotic dancer.
Why are we sending inappropriate pictures to people we barely know? Why are we sexting with someone other than our spouse or significant other? Why do these actions feel so safe in our virtual worlds? If you are a single person who has nothing to lose when living out your virtual life, this does not apply to you, except if your actions can negative affect the other person’s life. But when you do these things without thinking of the consequences it will have to your marriage, relationships, children, career, etc, it becomes a problem that you will never be able to erase. The images will always be there, no matter how many times you delete them. The typed messages will always remain in the world of cyberspace. And the effects your actions have on your family will always remain in the back of their minds or in the whispers of strangers who know way too much… for generations to come.
But what about those on the other end, responding to the pics and messages from that married man or woman? What kind of life must they lead that makes it ok to knowingly correspond with someone who is married? Do they realize the lives THEY could be ruining, including their own. We have to be accountable for our actions and sometimes have to make others accountable as well. If I have to remind you that you are married and have a beautiful family at home to make you stop contacting me and take some time out to think about what you are doing, then so be it. My reminder may be just what you need to end all of your tasteless behavior, maybe not, but I know I won’t be a thread within the weave of your web of lies and deceit.
My purpose for social networking is, and always has been, for business and to connect to friends and family, while keeping a regular bridge of contact with them. I have never tried to connect to other men for purposes of starting a virtual romance and I have never led anyone to believe that. I love my husband, my children, and my family and I would never risk losing them over a salacious online fling.
I am not one to judge. I can only say how I feel. Let’s not let social networking ruin our lives!