It was only a matter of time: Divorce lawyers who once dug through trash for evidence of cheating are now trolling Facebook and other sites for signs of “social cheatworking.”
More than 80% of respondents to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported a spike in social media site spying — the same kind done by marketers.
The reason is simple. Many people don’t understand how social media works. Specifically, they aren’t fully aware of the controls that help protect privacy. Think of the massive confusion Facebook recently caused with its control changes.
Before social media, some cheaters stepped out in a quiet, out-of-the-way restaurant or lounge before finding a place to get horizontal. Now they are basically handing over photo albums, comments and status updates that are ripe for a spouse’s picking.
CNN reported some outrageous cases:
A Maine woman looking to divorce her would-be recovering alcoholic husband found a photo on Facebook of him drinking beer at a party.
A North Carolina woman needed only to check her husband’s Facebook wall to find an odd message that helped reveal he was playing footsie with a younger co-worker.
And, unbelievably, a wife from Tennessee found “the other woman’s” Facebook profile — which included a public photo album of the husband and his goumad on vacations.
In some cases, snoops need look no further than unbelievable creations such as MarriedCheaters.com, which bills itself as “the community that connects married cheaters coping with marital infidelity or desiring ‘married and cheating‘ infidelity right now.”
Or AffairMatch.com, which boasts of being a “discreet sanctuary for lonely wives and cheating husbands.”
And, of course, there’s AshleyMadison.com — a trip in itself.
In many cases, the cheaters began on a social network, either as old flames looking to reconnect (as in: “retrosex”) or strangers in the night.
Of 800 members of IllicitEncounters.com, more than 40 percent said Facebook was directly involved in their infidelity. This follows a report from an online divorce service that reported a full 20% of the divorce petitions held in its database included the keyword “Facebook.”
In effect, social networks are becoming the desk drawers or glove compartments where a cheater is most likely to leave the most evidence. And if there’s one thing you can always count on from the two-timers, it’s carelessness, if not laziness.
Here‘s an option: Be faithful. That‘s the point of getting married in the first place, isn‘t it?
Otherwise you and your “secret” honey are likely leaving a trail, no matter how much you try to palm it off as playful banter.
In the end, evidence trails usually lead to trials.
And you can’t have a trial without snoopy lawyers, now, can you?
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