I've really never been one for computers. My husband came home from work one day and announced he was going to get himself a Facebook profile, to help advertise his business. I had heard about this Facebook thing. I was eavesdropping over the carpeted office partitions one day when a few work colleagues were discussing it. My initial thought was, why on earth would you want to be in front of a computer all day to then go home and sit in front of a bloody computer all night?
Seemed pretty stupid to me.
I was a bit suss on my husband's new found Facebook interest, so I decided to get myself an account in order to tit for tat him.
I didn't really like the idea of him befriending other females, because in my past relationships, that always ended in my partner finding himself inside other women.
Although I trusted my husband more than I trusted myself so I didn't say anything, all the while being quietly apprehensive.
Therefore I got myself an account and I'm not being overdramatic when I say this, but that very decision changed my life forever.
It opened up my world more than I ever knew possible. I was no longer a recluse. I regained contact with people I hadn't seen in literally twenty years and the adrenalin was pumping through my veins like a child on their first day of kindergarten. So many wondrous possibilities!
I felt alive again. I felt social. I felt a part of a community.
Now I must tell you, my husband's new found on line social media interest pretty much died in the arse within a couple of weeks. Although I caught the bug and I caught it bad.
Like any addiction, it grew and incorporated many more social networking sites such as Twitter, and Blogger into my little obsession.
Last night as I was Tweeting on one side of the couch and my husband was Ebaying on the other side, not a word was spoken between us.
I thought to myself "Well, this is pretty much fucked."
Why on earth am I talking to complete strangers and ignoring the father of my children?
Why am I escaping into a world of flirtation, and unspoken agenda's?
So I proposed this question to him.
"Hey G, in the time we've been together have you ever come across someone that you've thought, hey if I wasn't married, there might be something in this?"
"Ah no. I've never let it get that far. Why have you?"
"To be honest, yes. I've come across people that I've thought were nice."
"What are you trying to say?"
"Calm down, no nothing's happened, I just wonder if we subconsciously ever stop looking."
"I think we all look and appreciate, but we just don't touch."
"Yeh, no that's not what I mean, everyone purves once in a while and those who say they don't are bloody liars. I'm talking about do we ever subconsciously stop searching for love. I mean, we are sitting here not even speaking to each other. Is this why people cheat? Is that why social media is so popular, everyone is still searching for something that is missing from their lives?"
"I don't know."
"I'm in contact with so many people on line. What makes a person cross that final line from flirtation to adultery? How do you even begin to cheat? Do you just go up to someone and say, hey there you, what about it?"
"No I think cheating is like dating. You form a friendship, you begin to flirt, you draw similarities and realise you have things in common. I think it's all about timing."
"Timing? I mean how do you go from being happily married one day, to wanting to have sex with someone else another?"
"I think it's a gradual thing. I think both people need to find themselves in a stale phase of their marriage and are both probably looking for excitement or something."
"Yeh but how does it go from friendly flirtation to hitting that person up for sex? What is the evolution process here?"
" As I said before I'd think it'd be just like dating. You start liking the other person and maybe start placing yourself in situations or places that you know the other person would be at. Or I'm sure some people would be more upfront about it and just come out and say it. Work would be a cheating hotspot."
"Oh absolutely, you'd be spending more time with the people at work than you would with your own partner."
"Yep, you can see how these things happen."
"So then why do we spend all day at work with strangers, to then come home and interact with more strangers on line when we could be spending that time with our husbands/wives?"
"I don't know."
"I mean we all do it. I'm no different. Do we spend so much time online to get the attention we don't receive from our partners, or do we not receive enough attention from our partners because we are always on line?"
"Yeh G I don't know, maybe you can turn it into a blog post or something."
I am the first one to admit that life with small children can be brain numbing at times. Painful even. Gone are the days where you can spend hours gazing into each other's eyes adoringly. These days you're so tired and emotionally spent that instead of relating affectionate thoughts with one another, you remind yourselves of obligation. You look at each other and see housework, bills that need paying, grocery shopping, in laws. You begin to neglect each other emotionally, and begin to search for what's lacking in your lives elsewhere.
A little bit of fun perhaps, a little excitement, a little escape.
A little place where we can regain the essence of who we are as opposed to who we are married to and how many children we have.
So think about it, (you don't have to comment, just reflect) why do you spend countless hours on line?
What are you escaping from?
What do you hope to gain from it?
Do you realise what is at stake?
With the New Year approaching, what can you do to improve the things in your "real life" so that you can spend more time living and less time tweeting (or your choice of poison)?