With over 500 million users and counting, Facebook has stayed true to its mission to "give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."
But while Facebook helps people to connect with each other, there have also been a lot of reported cases of couples breaking up and filing for divorce. Because of social networking's convenient way to send instant messages, meet new people and establish personal relationships, this has provided more opportunities for flirting. From friendly messages to full blown illicit affairs, thousands of cases have been recently reported that their divorce has been caused by things they uncovered in Facebook.
How do these seemingly innocent encounters begin? Since a Facebook user has the ability to "add a friend", they can virtually choose any good-looking girl or guy based on their picture and make an instant connection with them. Adding them as a friend means that you can see their profile, what their interests are as well as their general feeling or "status" of the day. It can go from "just had a fantastic dinner" to "actively seeking for The One!" This gives users an opportunity to connect with each other by posting comments on each other's pictures, links or wall posts. And it goes from there.
A simple message or chat conversation can lead to a full blown illicit affair if one is not careful. Several stories from divorce cases have relayed that these relationships have started only by a mere joke or uploaded comment. In fact, Facebook photos and comments can now be used in court as evidence of cheating, and the numbers continue to increase.
While Facebook is a great communication tool to reconnect with old friends, be wary of the effects it can have on your personal relationships. If you are doubtful about the friends that your boyfriend has on his profile, do not just snoop around or create an "undercover" profile to find out if he is cheating. The ideal way to deal with these types of scenarios is to have an open and honest conversation about it rather than going behind their backs.
If you are married and you feel that the conversation with this girl you met on Facebook is turning out to be more flirtatious than friendly, stop immediately. As much as a lot of men and women use some form of technicality ( "We have never even met! It's just online!"), The motives should be in question. Why should you bother spending time chatting with someone over the web when your wife or girlfriend is probably waiting for you to get home?
For the singles out there, Facebook can be a great way to meet new people with shared likes and interests. It is easy to see what kind of personality they have through their wall posts, pictures, and what their friends say about them. But one still needs to be warned: Committed, engaged and even "happily" married men pretend to be single on Facebook just so they can flirt with other women. Do not be deceived. If the guy you are chatting with still chooses to hide his contact information and keeps telling you that the 5 year old girl with him in about 50 pictures is his niece, maybe you need to think twice.
While Facebook is a great tool, you should also be able to draw the line when it comes to cheating. Infidelity and illicit affairs can come in different ways, shapes and forms. The best way to avoid this is to maintain a close circle of friends and be open and honest with your partner always. You can always choose to delete your Facebook profile and lose it, but losing a loved one because of a few steamy messages is never worth it.