Delete! Delete! Delete! Is the key word. Nothing to it than this valuable six letter word.
While I am no stranger to the action itself, I could not but imagine the pain an acquaintance has had to go through just to have a normal day in his marriage, a thing he yearns for but barely gets from his partner.
Meet Dave (not his real name), 26, married and with one child. He would love to just get home and live his phone charging while he takes a bath or leave it to charge while he goes off with friends on a binge but as he tells me while we enjoyed a couple of beers at an establishment in the East rand, he cannot afford to do that.
His life, he says, has been marred with various near -to-fatal incidences just because of a Social App, one that literally left a mark on him when the wife took hot coals from a braii and threw at him infront of family and friends. He has survived numerous cellphone destructions, a limit to his conjugal rights in many nights and has had to retrieve his contacts on many occasions through his network provider. Far too many times than any other man has done he believes.
But as the story goes, he has reached level expert in cheating on his wife. He no longer has to worry. It seems he has developed a unique memory of all the chats he has with his mistresses and never misses a thing. On a conversation, when he types, he deletes and when he gets a response, he deletes and when the chat ends, he deletes the recents because as with Whatsapp, they all pile up at the beginning and are a cause of grief and pain in his house.
I was in no space to ask him why he has to go through all the hustle just to cheat when he has a woman at home? But I wasn’t going to ruin the fun chat I was having with him. He had become the only source of entertainment in this local establishment besides the booze , for it seemed, not too many patrons had ventured out on this night.
His belief was that marriage could never work without a ‘side chick’ and he had justifications for his theory.
“A woman is never satisfied with all you do for her, there is always something she looks for which is mysterious, its a thing we can never know. First I thought my spouse needed money and a good life but when I gave her that, she still never trusted me. That was before I even cheated on her first. When I realised I was never going to be appreciated and that I was just a suspect in our marriage I began to see another woman. I was not clever with it at the start but now, I am as clean as a whistle and have no problems of infidelity with my woman”
Today’s world has presented a challenge on privacy that our mothers and fathers never suffered from. There where no cellphones, pc’s and definitely no video calling and all was made simple by having one common place of communication, a huge and heavy telephone set sitting by the corner set in the lounge. There was definitely no phone sex and no funny conversations on this set while the whole family googled or the little naught brother listened and giggled in the other room.
“It was kinda peaceful back then” Dave said with a chuckle.
I couldn’t help but agree.
Dave has since developed a keen understanding of social networks and is adept to the most recent trends in chatting that can make his marriage life easier. Not only has he stuck to one platform but has initiated a somewhat persuasion of the mind to all his mistresses, which by now I had gathered numbered four, to have them download message applications that make it easier for them to communicate. Its about staying ahead of the game and making sure nothing or no one catches up on you, its like a game of cat and mouse he relates.
In as much as Dave is treading on a thin thread of either getting caught or catching up on an unwanted deadly disease, much of the world today evolves around the conversations within social platforms and security is of major concern. WhatsApp came up with end to end encryption a few months back to keep information passed on from one user to the other secure from the googles and hackers but as for Dave, he needs not to worry about these but only his wife.
“The most dangerous woman is one starring at a pic of another woman in your phone as you fail to construct a meaningful reason as to why she is in your phone” he says, now clearly inebriated.
Social networks providers are unaware of the wars being waged daily in the homes, way bigger than their worries of spying and intelligence.
A while ago another friend went on to create a false profile on Facebook to catch a cheating husband. By the time I got to know of the profile, the husband was about to meet his mistress (his wife) for the first time and she wasn’t sure what to do next as it had become too real for her to handle. In the end she deleted the profile, what a waste I thought whilst it was too close to home, what if I too was lured in such a manner? Would I take the bait?
I have gathered an immense suspicious character online which begins from sieving through my friends and followers. While I might not use the delete button that often, I prefer to unfollow and block that which I feel might hinder my privacy or my wellbeing. The greatest fear of all time is to have to wake up with a headline saying, ‘Major social platform hacked!’ and so in preventing before I need a cure, I chose to be a bit smarter when it comes to what I do and who I do it with online.
It begs the thought of how much of online footprint are we leaving out there in today’s world? Is it good and is it bad? How much of it will hurt when its publicly displayed, one day? We have seen it happen before and I have a feeling it wont be the last we hear of it.
If it comes to cheating on your spouse, Dave encourages you to delete! I guess even in a court of law, when there is no evidence, there is no time!
DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!