Love and a laptop
The act of coupling, whether in a formal commitment such as marriage or something less rigid such as exclusive dating, is held together with expectations, promises, hope, integrity and trust. Without these factors, pairs are really playing house with Mommy’s sheets and plastic cups. Don’t believe us? Watch what happens when we throw a little permissiveness into the mix when we are discussing social media.
Lee says: For our first anniversary, Paul and I bought our first computer. It was an IBM that cost over $2000, was the cutting edge of technology with 2MB of memory and was completely obsolete by the time we took it home. This computer was just a really big typewriter that we could load very silly games on, play solitaire and Paul could amaze me with his wicked DOS skills which he learned while he should have been dating girls.
Since then, we have always remained on the forefront of home computer technology. Remember when ICQ was the rogue Instant Message application that the cool people used? How amazing was it that you could use your computer to type out a conversation. I was never one to have random chats but, if you know me, I rarely say no to a nice person or someone from Scotland.
His name was Duncan. He struck up a conversation with me and I found him interesting, funny and in need of a friend. I told Paul immediately about my new Scot friend. After several conversations, Duncan turned the direction of the dialogue into something that made me uncomfortable (FIRST SIGN OF BOUNDARY CROSSING). He talked about his wife and how she was not willing to be with him intimately. I was not his therapist but I figured friends talk about this stuff so I suggested they discuss it further. He continued with this line of discussion until he crossed into how horny he was. Please note: I had had several IM conversations with him. Never once did it turn into a sex convo. I promptly told him to delete my username and I would no longer talk to him. I told Paul about it but still felt dirty. Like me, there are thousands of people having unwanted conversations. However many of them lack the forethought and boundaries to stop these conversations.
Digital affairs are no longer a sci-fi story line. Digital affairs are alive and well in the Twitterverse and Facebookland. Reuniting with old friends or creating new relationships with strangers, people are having digital affairs without even considering their behavior as being unfaithful. One of the true beauties of social media is the ability to connect. In some cases, these connections can be very positive but with those with poor sense of self or boundaries, social media is an outlet to create a new persona and new life with new lovers and new friends, all from the comfort of your home.
Virtual lovers/Physical Strangers are leaving their partners for something new every day. Social Media, partnered with incessant pornography viewing, is creating people yearning for passion and excitement and something different. In reality, some people need nothing more than their lap-top, internet and perhaps some lotion. The fear of love or rejection has created a new segment of society that feels they are very happy jacking off to random faces on Chat Roulette. I think I saw this episode on Twilight Zone.
Paul says: I find it interesting how freaked out people get about their internet privacy but will give out all kinds of personal information if you just ask right. They freak out about Facebook giving away data and the holes in their security but start a chat with someone and you would be surprised at how intimate a person is willing to get if they do not need to look you in the face.
That’s how I hunted down Duncan. I just asked a few simple questions… and pretended to be an 18-year-old female. I asked what he looked like, where he lived, and how to meet him. I asked whether or not he owned money to the Scottish mafia. He said no. I sent a computer virus and now he owes 100,000 Euros. Lee hasn’t heard from him since. Don’t fuck with my wife, you Scottish bitch!