The term "Facebook infidelity" is actually referring to social media infidelity from any online source, but is a 'tip of the hat" to the overwhelming market share that that one website now has. It isn't significantly different if two people find each other on Facebook, Myspace, Linked In, or another platform.
Any one of these makes it possible for you to make up a new identity. You can be just about any version of yourself that you can imagine. You probably can even be someone that you aren't . . . for a while at least.
The lure of "Facebook infidelity" is quite simple. If you're unhappy where you are and you have a computer and an internet connection, there's a whole world of people out there. You build a persona and you are almost certain to find people who will accept you as you present yourself.
What live person in a real world could possibly compete?
The answer is "very few, if any", and therein lies the special destructiveness of this or any other internet infidelity. Relationships, including marriage, are open systems. When you are in a relationship you are constantly presented with comparisons: in person, in fiction, in motion pictures, on the internet.
You can't help but compare, and if the comparison lead you to making positive changes in yourself and your relationship it's good. On the other hand, what if the comparisons are essentially unfair?
The comparisons are often made in very limited circumstances. The characters in the movies are saying lines that were crafted by writers and directors. The helpful person at work doesn't go home with you to do laundry and help with homework. The therapist you talk with is getting paid to listen and focus totally on you. The person you are interacting with online is probably looking for something very similar to what you are, is on his/her best behavior, and has chosen a medium where that is possible.
Using social media can definitely come back to haunt you should your marriage fail and you find yourself in divorce proceedings. Read the following quote from the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Marlene Eskind Moses,
“Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny. If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made statements and promises, an estranged spouse will certainly be one of the first people to notice and make use of that evidence,” “As everyone continues to share more and more aspects of their lives on social networking sites, they leave themselves open to much greater examinations of both their public and private lives in these sensitive situations.”
In a 2010 press release, the AAML reported that a survey of their members had found that 81% of their members reported increasingly using evidence from social networking website during the past five years.
"Facebook infidelity" may sound like another one of those cute terms that some copywriter coined to get attention ( it is catchier than 'social media infidelity'), but ignore the dangers the general issue presents at your peril and that of your relationship.
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