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People use social networks to cheat; ‘Shocking!’ says no one

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Image used with permission by copyright holder

Secret chats and rendezvous scheduling are commonly being done behind significant others’ backs via  social networks. And as people become more and more tech savvy, cheaters are finding craftier ways of using these platforms for illicit acts of infidelity. 

Of 2,400 American adults that have admitted to cheating at least one this past year, a recent study found that one-third of these adults have created a social media or email account that their partner didn’t know existed. And the most common social network that would be used to create a fake social media profile, with nearly 67 percent of cheaters having one, is Facebook.

The study suggests that the main reason cheaters are creating these secret accounts is to list their relationship statuses as “single.” Why not just hide your relationship status? Well, as many as 80 percent of people who tend to publish intimate details about their relationships will note their relationship status, according to a study by Abine, Inc. the creators of DoNotTrackMe. In other cases they’ll send naughty photos through social media.

The Internet leaves a “paper” trail for most online communications, which apparently has many couples convinced that they should be sharing their online activities with each other. As many as one-third of Facebook users, who participated in the Abine study, said they’ve shared their usernames and passwords with their significant other. And 40 percent of people have confessed to looking at their partner’s private messages and emails.

You might think that it’s crazy to share your private social media and email accounts with the person you’re dating or married to – but a core value in a relationship is trust. And on the Internet, trust means that if your significant other refuses to give you their username and password, they might have something to hide.

Obviously, if you’re sharing your Facebook profile info with your partner you can pretty easily dupe them into thinking that you’re loyal – while in reality, you’ve created a secondary online profile that you’re keeping a secret from him or her. 

But if you keep your online adulterous antics up and get caught, just know that the ensuing break-up is also going to play out over the social network. Facebook has become the official facilitator of a couple’s relationship status: 63 percent of social network users will de-friend or block exes, and half of the study’s participants admitted that they will de-tag photos shared with their exes.

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Francis Bea
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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