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Austin Blood Headshot

Social Media Booty Call

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Unless you've been living on the moon for the past couple of years, you've noticed the massive surge in the number of websites dedicated to online dating. Along with old standbys like eHarmony and Match.com, hundreds of new sites now cater to every kink, taste and fetish imaginable. If that's your thing, smile your best Cheshire grin. It's a brand new day on the world wide web and you're only a few mouse clicks away from finding your first love or "dating" an incarcerated felon. Anything you want is there for the taking if you're so inclined; all you need is an internet connection and a little time on your hands.

New dating websites are blasting their way into every home in America with the cultural equivalent of an atomic bomb. The shockwaves they're leaving behind are resonating through the landscape with permanent and irreversible effects. Many online dating sites now offer an unprecedented opportunity to find that perfect match... even if you already have a significant other. As proof, one need look no further than AshleyMadison.com. Last year, this notoriously naughty website for married people seeking affairs signed up its ten-millionth member. That's the number "1" with seven zeros, my friend! Traditional values have long been under siege, but never like this.

Picture this scenario....

Late one evening while you're asleep, your husband clicks over to AshleyMadison out of curiosity. The kids are in bed and he's had a lousy day. He's stressed out about work and finances and the two of you aren't connecting like you used to. He heard about this website from a co-worker but just can't believe it until he sees it. He tells himself, "There's no harm in just checking it out...I would never have an affair."

Click. Click. Click.

Ten minutes later he's chatting with a woman across town. (Yes, it really is that easy) She's cute. Really cute. And lonely. Soon messages are flying back and forth like a flurry of ping pong balls. He likes her. She likes him. It's exciting, so he'll likely return tomorrow night for some more "innocent" chat. After you've gone to sleep, of course. Over time they agree to meet for the "harmless" lunch. And before you know it...

BOOM!!

Mr. Monogamy takes one in the nuts.

Speaking of extramarital booty calls, can you guess the number one site for online hookups? The site that puts even Mistress Madison to shame? If you said Facebook, you're correct. The same scene is repeated thousands of times across America every evening. Suburban housewife. Mother of two. Happily married... or so she tells herself. Late one night she's uploading family photos on Facebook when a message icon pops up in the corner of her screen. It's Dave, an old fling from high school. "Hey Cutie," he says. Completely harmless... right?

Wrong!

Over the course of the next several months, she unknowingly and unintentionally heads down the most slippery of slopes. It all starts innocently enough. At first, it's just surface talk. Family, career, kids and life in general. As the weeks pass, she begins to look forward to their evenings together online. With her glass of wine in hand and her husband and kids asleep, her time with Dave becomes her happy place and the escape she so badly needs. Dave is easy on the eyes and a fantastic listener. And unlike her husband, he really seems to understand her. Over time, she begins to feel alive again. Not since her early 20's has she felt this vibrant. What began as simple online chat session eventually explodes into a blaze of passion she thought long extinguished. Before you know it, they begin to share details intimate enough to make a porn star blush. And it's all downhill from there.

Another blow to Mr. Monogamy.

The sheer number of people on Facebook now make it the easiest place to start down the path to an extramarital sheet shuffle. In fact, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says sixty-six percent of their lawyers now cite Facebook as the primary source of evidence in their divorce proceedings. With stats like these, it's clear that everyday folks from all walks of life are going online in droves and meeting up with old and new flames alike. For the lonely wife or horny husband, the web is now a category five tempest of temptation swirling with opportunities that didn't exist even a few years ago.

Now before we go any further, let me be very clear on one point: the websites themselves aren't the real issue here. Their popularity is purely symptomatic of deeper sociological matters beyond the scope of this article. The websites don't make people cheat any more than cars force people to drive drunk. What the technology does is make it substantially easier by creating or facilitating the opportunity. Whereas twenty years ago a married man might have to go to a bar or romance a co-worker for an extramarital booty call, today he can save himself all that hassle with just a few mouse clicks.

So what does this mean for society at large?

I contend the infidelity rate will continue to increase exponentially, for married and unmarried couples alike. It's simply too damn easy to have an affair in the new millennium. This in turn will have an immense social impact on our culture as the concept of traditional marriage as a viable union takes a blow to the balls.

Don't believe me?

For countless couples, marriage after the ten-year mark is already synonymous with boredom, loneliness and sometimes plain ol' misery. By almost any metric, traditional marriage is on the skids if modern statistics are to be believed. For starters, the divorce rate is higher than the Empire State Building and more couples than ever are opting instead for cohabitation and open lifestyle choices. And that was before this new wave of technology made it easier than ever to sneak around.

This is one of those times it doesn't always please me share the cold, hard truth of reality. But my sworn mission is to be an advocate for all women and a critical part of this charge is creating awareness of issues with life-altering potential in a woman's world.

Issues for better or for worse.

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Website: www.AustinBlood.com
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