I often hear about connections made on Facebook... affairs that were either started, maintained, or even exclusively conducted on this social platform. 

I think Facebook is great. Currents Counseling even has it's own Facebook page (facebook.com/currentscounseling). But I know that any good thing can be used for selfish purposes.

Do you have a Facebook story?
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TimT wrote:
I often hear about connections made on Facebook... affairs that were either started, maintained, or even exclusively conducted on this social platform. 

I think Facebook is great. Currents Counseling even has it's own Facebook page (facebook.com/currentscounseling). But I know that any good thing can be used for selfish purposes.

Do you have a Facebook story?

Facebook has ravages over half of my friends marriages. While it's great to connect to friends and family from over the years, what starts out as harmless can be like playing with matches and fire.

In my case, it all started with my AP friending me on Facebook when I took over as the management in our company. Within a day there were over a thousand messages back and forth as a "friendship" started and flourished. Within two weeks naked photos were exchanged. From there it just went downhill.

Facebook is also what eventually got me caught. While I was very careful with password and such, my password manager undid all of that.

Plus, during the relationship I had with the AP Facebook continued to be a pain in my side because of my AP insecurity. I felt I had to remove parts of my past in order to make the AP feel good about where I was at. (Removing pictures of the wedding, changing my relationship status, who and what I pressed "like" to.)

To be honest, I almost quit Facebook. But, I have connections with all sorts of people from my work in the past, and I don't want to lose that.

Facebook is great. The problem was with me, and my boundaries. I made the choices I did, but it wasn't Facebook fault.

As an aside, my best man got caught in a "sexting" affair with a former friend on Facebook. He got completely off FB, and all should have been well.

Except when he found out about my infidelity (he was the first friend I reached out to and told ) he encouraged me and implied it would be good to have a three way... Yeah, no.

So, Facebook is the least of his problems. Boundaries are.

I want to note something too. Facebook is old fashioned. Today there are plenty of social media appt that don't save your history. Take Snapchat for instance. You send something like a picture or a 10 second video, and it disappears. That's that. No one is the wiser. Plus, if someone takes a screen shot of it, you are alerted.

Or, there is periscope... This is a live app like Skype except you can have followers you can communicate with live, and no record is kept.

I'm not meaning to say it doesn't matter, it does, but I think what's most important is boundaries. What you will and won't do. Facebook may make it easier, but it won't change your boundaries if you are clear about them.
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It was not specifically Facebook that played a part into my wife's affair but online communication was a huge part.  As I mentioned in "my story post" my wife was part of a video game guild and spent 20-30 hours a week playing on the PC. 

If you are not familiar with the world of online gaming in many it is not all that different than the real world but with fantasy added in. And not just fantasy from playing computer games but from the personalities that can be created and sustained.

In retrospect, it is possible to say that my wife essentially was going to a virtual bar nearly ever day for hours at a time. She met up with friends from around the country, they chatted online to share stories of their days, happenings in their lives, and even working together to achieve common goals. Heck there was sometimes even drinking involved.

I think the safety of being in remote locations allowed for my wife (and the others) to feel they could keep real world and virtual worlds separated. However, the reality is friendships were being built that constantly were taking away from my marriage and it was disguised as just having fun with some online games.

From the gaming world my wife did become friends with her AP (and others). They found common interests like music to connect on and talk about.

I can't say Facebook played a primary role in the development of the affair but it definitely played a role in expanding the relationship beyond the gaming world to make the AP more real.  
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Facebook was the catalyst and primary platform on which my spouse's affair grew. Old friend, messages exchanged, etc. Them soulmates. I think there may be something in the dopamine rush that you get from getting a response on social media, like a video game, or a drug, that enhances or speeds the growth of the affair. Even people who aren't having affairs treat their smartphones like APs.
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Alex - You are dead on with the dopamine rush of social media. I do have projects with gamification and motivation for work. Social media and mobile devices are all about feeding on dopamine rush. It's actually what makes gamification so powerful. Consistent, frequent rewards for doing a desired activity. Candy Crush? Angry Birds anyone?

Ding...Someone sent me a message...I feel liked...dopamine drip.
You had 10 friends like your photo...I'm cool and have friends that get me...dopamine drip

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If anyone wants to read up on the dopamine addiction discussed here, the book Connected by Erin Davis is very well researched.
On a couple separate notes Kal made a Great Point about Snapchat which kind of solved the mystery for me. My WS often used to send me pictures of her in bed as a way to "prove" she wasn't with the AP. Of course every photo and every piece of data has some identifying information and time stamps attached-Snapchat doesn't do a very good job of destroying the screen shots that are saved onto the phone and sent to a non-Snapchat user.
So the fantasy of nobody ever knowing this private information shared between affair partners coupled with the slow-trickle dopamine from someone sending a message, or liking your status, that's not enough to fulfill a healthy dopamine release, creates a wonderful addiction that helps start up and prolong the affair as long as possible.
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Facebook actually had nothing to do with his affair as for years he never had one, I had a Facebook that I was open about he could see it at anytime and I was always open about all my passwords-they we're written down and I even DURING his affair let him know that several high school boyfriends had tried to friend me but I felt it was inappropriate as I've seen other marriages destroyed by it so I declined them.

However. Oddly. AFTER the affair while claiming he wanted to fix the marriage he joined Facebook & a ton of other social media sites. Which he had previously maintained he felt they we're all stupid. It was a problem for me for him to suddenly join after the affair (along with many other issues) but I didn't feel it was an attempt at building trust more like more avenues to hide things.

Like everyone said there's a million ways to cheat today if someone wants to. That said interesting note about snapchat-a piece came out when snapchat first became popular about how the photos aren't actually deleted. Their available to be overwritten but of course someone hacked how to retrieve them. I remember talking about it to our teen about how nothing secret is truly secret on the internet. Funny during his affair (which included sexting and pics) he had a firm talk
With our child about never sending anything you wouldn't want to be seen by everyone. Hypocrite much.

So the childhood rhyme is still true even with the internet- oh the tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
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