The internet seems to have created limitless possibilities for meeting that someone special. Sites like E-harmony.com and RSVP.com speak of finding your perfect fit based on your shared interest and goals; technology making infidelity easy. Inevitably with the people who genuinely want to find a mate for life comes those who are just looking for casual relationships and far worse, those who are looking to have an affair. This is evident in sites likeillicitencounters.com, haveanaffair.com and nostrings.com popping up left, right and centre promoting extra-marital affairs.
One of the most interesting sites in this basket being ashleymadison.com who boasts 22 million members worldwide with the slogan ‘Life is short, Have an affair’. The site is run on a credit system where members have to pay to contact each other, almost gives the site a role playing game feel to it. Signing up to the website is quicker and easier then ordering a pizza online and it gives the user instant access to thousands of like-minded people (for a fee). The site claims that 80% of members are men making it practically fish in a barrel for women on the site. Whilst surprisingly in Australia there is a stronger showing of cheating women making up 40% of the site’s members (1).
The company’s brass, un-ashamed promotion on billboards, TV commercials and radio ads(2) of its services is a disappointing view of what’s to come. Cheating seems to have almost become mainstream, the statistics are alarming. Ask any 3 married people you know and chances are one of them have cheated (if they are being honest) and the two others know someone who has been cheated on.
Sadly there is no looking past the fact that infidelity is big business in this current market. With divorce rates on the rise and the number of members signing up each and every day there is no denying the correlation. Whilst these sites are not entirely to blame, it’s the change of values is perhaps the most striking issue. More than ever, people in committed relationships are no longer believe it is wrong to cheat and websites like Ashleymadison.com are making it easier to facilitate and hide these extra-marital relationships.
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(1) NBC News