Facebook is currently the most popular social networking website in the world. Its popularity has steadily increased over the years with over 400 million dedicated users around the world.
Although it facilitates easier communication with friends and various family members and helps to keep in touch with them, users should also be conscious of certain risks associated with being active members of this site. Along with increase in popularity of Facebook, lots of complaints also pour in frequently from couples that this website is coming in the way of their relationship.
Normally, this should not happen; however, if one is not prudent, it can cause terrible upheaval in the relationship between couple. Everyone is prone to the attraction of an affair at some point or the other in their lives.
An affair can turn into betrayal when the difference between susceptibility and prospects of an affair disappears, finally resulting in taking a decision in favor of an affair. It is rather risky for someone to assume that the marital relationship or any other relationship is totally insulated from an affair.
Someone can be susceptible to infidelity due to several factors affecting the relationship. These include poor contacts between the couple, detachment and indifference or lack of understanding.
Weakness towards an affair can also arise due to many external factors, such as a grief-stricken state of mind due to the demise of a beloved or a respected person, loss of a job, birth of a child or any other aspect that leads to excessive stress.
There are certain situations when people find themselves in a vulnerable position and get entangled in an affair. Some of these factors include lack of self-confidence, fear of developing closeness or ‘substance misuse’.
An affair may develop through a friend, a colleague in the office or a sociable neighbor. Of late, internet has not only considerably widened the chances of getting involved in an affair but also increased the rate of its occurrence.
It is, in this context, Facebook poses a great threat. This is because through this medium, people interact with ex-lovers or an old friend and muse over the intimate association they had in the past. This makes these people reflective and even regretful for snapping their old association.
Although this may appear harmless on the face of it, it might endanger the relationship of a couple who are already struggling hard to maintain their marital status or relationship. The following limits, if followed, may decrease the negative effects that may have on a relationship because of networking on Facebook:
1) Consider the partner as his or her close friend and not conceal anything.
2) Do not try to re-establish any old passionate association through Facebook, unless the spouse is taken into confidence and the partner is quite comfortable if such a contact is established. However, keep away from this thought, if any difficulties are envisaged in the present relationship.
3) Do not talk about personal problems, more so marital issues with other users on Facebook. This is the area which has the danger of opening up new avenues for intimate connection that is likely to put the existing relationship in jeopardy.
4) Make it a point to indicate on the profile page about the marital status or about any ongoing relationship.
5) If members of the opposite sex make any indecent sexual overtures or try to engage in any undesirable acts of teasing, discourage such acts immediately and disclose this type of incident to the spouse.
6) Transparency between couple is very important. Discuss freely with one another about specific types of their friends on Facebook and with mutual consultation, lay down their own limits. Respect each other’s selection of friends and privacy. It is also essential to value each other’s limits on what is acceptable and what is not.
7) Facebook members spend a lot of time talking with friends, playing Farm-Ville or Mafia Wars or other games that people get obsessed with. These games and discussions with friends deprive both the partners of their precious time.
This is how Facebook puts a relationship at great risk. It is, therefore, advisable to limit its use. Facebook affords plenty of scope for developing a new circle of friends and as such, may not be an issue to worry about. However, what may have begun as a healthy and enjoyable friendship can soon assume alarming proportions and tarnish the trust that is built around a relationship.
Social networking sites, like Facebook will continue to attract vast number of new members. However, online opportunities are bound to create misunderstandings in a relationship and threaten the mutual confidence between the partners. It is for the couple, who use Facebook, to ensure that outside influences do not hinder their relationship.