Net affairs sour real ties
Lamat R. Hasan
Casual Internet affairs usually last for a few weeks
more and more men and women having cyber affairs, Internet
infidelity seems to have arrived in India.
The faithful are
trying to catch their techno-savvy unfaithful partners
red-handed in cyber space, some by keeping pace with technology,
others by reading self-help books. Some others are seeking
professional help to cope with their agony.
affairs, which usually last up to a few weeks, are increasingly
souring real-life relationships.
changed) works from home on his PC and promptly logs off around
7 p.m. when it is time for his wife to get back home.
hates to catch me chatting on the Internet. So instead of having
a long fight, I just log off," Anoop said on the Yahoo
Messenger. Anoop insists that the women he chats with are just
"friends". "Once in a while I may also flirt with
them," he said.
Excessive use of
Internet is also becoming a reason for the break-up of
Adil, 48, (name
changed), who lives with his wife and two teenage children in
East Delhi, has posted fake profiles on almost all matrimonial
sites. He interacts with prospective brides trying to pass off
as a 30-something groom and often exchanges phone numbers.
"He spends most of his leisure time on the Internet,"
said his wife, who is seeing a marriage counsellor.
hobby is to surf adult sites. The kids use the same computer and
often we find indecent pictures of women popping up on the
PC," she said.
"We called in
an engineer and installed filters to stop such pop-ups, but he
keeps removing the filters. He doesn’t care about the
children. It is too early for the kids to be exposed to such
adult stuff," she added.
name) is a film production assistant in Mumbai who usually works
15 days a month. "I usually chat with women," admits
Ariestotle, who is logged on to the Yahoo and MSN messengers
time I am not logged in is when my brother wants to use the PC
or I am not at home. I use my cellphone to interact then,"
It’s not just
the husbands and boyfriends who are cheating — the wives and
girlfriends are not very far behind.
changed), 29, by her own admission is addicted to the ‘30-something-room’
on a popular Indian chat site.
"Even when I
am at work I have to just log in and be there. I may not be
participating actively, but the compulsion to log in is
immense," she said.
befriended quite a few friends in the cyber world. "I have
had a few showdowns with my husband over this. So I am a little
careful now. I chat and even call up these friends when he is
not around." Anita can discuss everything from books to
films to her married life with her cyber friends and most of her
discussions are on-camera. "I am very thick with these
friends. In fact, they are my best friends. They cheer me up
when I sulk and are always around when I need them."
trust after an episode of Internet infidelity may not be easy,
plenty of websites are offering tips to deal with it.
They ask spouses
not to go online unless there is a purpose, and not to sign in
if they are bored, lonely or had an argument with their spouse.