The dangers of having an open or secret relationship online

CNN
Friday, July 18, 2014 - 5:13pm

Two high-profile criminal cases have put a spotlight on secret lives and affairs, perhaps perpetuated by technology.

A married Google executive, father of five, by all accounts a great dad, meets a young woman on a web site called seeking arrangement.com -- a liaison on a yacht, an overdose of heroin, and the executive ends up dead.

A father of a 22-month-old boy allegedly messages six women, sending and receiving explicit texts including nude images, while his son is dying in a hot car..

What’s going on?

Has technology made having an affair, living a secret life, too tempting for some to resist?

Jessica Carbino of UCLA is an online dating expert and tells CNN:

"The online component of an anonymous interaction with individuals with whom you may never have any contact with, with whom you dont have to give your real name, your address, any really any information that can theoretically be used against you while you are in the process of having the affair is definitely appealing to someone who wants to engage in that type of lifestyle."

Secret life hookup culture among those already in a relationship used to be mostly on the "down low" in America, not exactly advertised.

But it is steadily creeping over to mainstream, inevitable perhaps with the rise of social media -- even some sites that promote the relationship category now known as "married but dating."

To see the reach of online infidelity these days you need look no further than this Chris Brown video titled, "Loyal" with 97-million views on YouTube: a young woman receiving a message from the now famous Ashley Madison "have an affair" web site.

"These girls ain't loyal," Chris Brown says in the song.

The explosion in mobile communications - an estimated 208-million cell phones in America means both genders, all sexual persuasions, and virtually all ages can communicate quietly and secretly, anytime, anywhere.

there are countless options for married people looking for love in all the wrong places: the personals section of craigs list, adult friend finder, and countless forums and blogs that cater to everything from old fashioned cheating, to swinging, cuckolding, and even polyamory.

There's even an app called “Yo” that lets you know in one word who's interested, and one called secret that needs no explanation. The biggest concern is that children can be lured to content that's intended for adults.

"The more you have, the more danger you may have to deal with, and I think that as parents, they need to be responsible for what their kids are downloading," Jessica Carbino told CNN.

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