Modern technology can help cheats connect with paramours but the truth about these technologies is that they leave a trail that gets them caught. Not everyone, not all the time, but extramarital affairs have become common.
Zimbabwe is battling with the age of serial divorces and polyamory — where marriages are becoming more flexible and easily disposable than ever before. More and more devoted husbands and wives are succumbing to temptations.
The birth of social networks like Facebook seemed to promise the dawn of a new era of affairs. It is now more difficult to maintain a loving committed relationship than ever before as alternative romantic options are now more easier to explore and to realise. These alternatives have increased the feasibility of cheating, as well as the temptation to cheat.
But at the same time, while the adoption of today’s technologies has made the ability to cheat easier, it has also made it easier to get caught. To date, philandering athletes, politicians, and celebrities have been exposed through social media. It is becoming impossible to have a one-night stand without him or her being able to find you on whatsApp, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or Twitter. To would be cheats, anonymous sex is suddenly not-so-anonymous when the girl from the bar “pokes” you the next day. If the flirtation was illicit, those few clicks are the virtual digital footprints that can get you caught. A new friend request, a post on your wall, or a suspicious tweet, or a simple basic WhatsApp message can ruin trust and wreck a relationship.
Incriminating photographs have also found a way of being published online. In fact, it has become common for lawyers to scour Facebook, linked profiles and pictures when they are looking for evidence in divorce cases.
Both men and women are known for lying about their real name constantly, but your past is bound to catch up with you online.
Sharing your social media account and phone passwords has become a sign of love and trust. It is a sign to your partner that there are no secrets in the relationship. These have caused some marriage breakdowns because an old school mate or boy/girlfriend may get in touch causing mistrust in relationships. If you are in a relationship or married and do post your status on Facebook, WhatsApp or any other social media platform, it can cause huge trust issues.
Sharing passwords and making a relationship status public are both major barriers to cheating. And if you think you are careful about hiding your online behaviour, think again — even “Facebook stalking” can be discovered by a significant other. Some partners have taken extreme measures to catch their cheating partners. They are now installing computer monitoring software that always existed, but the technology is getting smarter. When looking for evidence, partners usually turn to spy apps. These secretive phone apps track everything a person does and where the person goes. Click or tap here for five smartphone apps that will get the job done.
Programmes like Timesnapper take automatic screenshots every few minutes, allowing you to play back computer activity.
There are even smartphone apps designed to track someone’s phone without them knowing. Downloading a tracking app (and then hiding it with another app such as Poof) will allow someone to spy on your location without your knowledge.
Voluntary GPS apps like Find My Friends and Glympse, which let people see where you really are, have also become popular. If you’re “working late,” you better really be at the office — or have an air-tight explanation for why you turned off your GPS tracker.
If you cheat and get caught you no longer have to worry only about your car being damaged, your clothes being burned, or getting thrown out of your home. Newspapers like the H-Metro or B-Metro and shaming websites such as CheaterVille, Shame and Name, and countless personal blogs have been set up to expose cheats.
It does not sound too sinister, but the implications are serious. Any future boss or potential lover will be able to run a simple Google search of your name and find the website with your sordid history. You and your picture will be forever connected with the alleged affair.
The cost of cheating has never been higher and you are more likely to get caught.
- Mutisi is the CEO of Hansole Investments (Pvt) Ltd and the current chairperson of Zimbabwe Information & Communication Technology, a division of Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers.