Saturday, 24 February 2007

How far is too far?

Online profiles... How far is too far? How much information are you obliged to reveal... or not.

Say a person is in a stable relationship of several years has an online profile. On this profile, this person reveals all manner of personal content: languages spoken, favourite bands, even their current location. But they don't reveal their relationship status. How morally reprehensible is that, anyway?

For further consideration, say this person has many 'friends' of the opposite sex added to their profile. Attractive and scantily clad members of the opposite sex. Are we still behind the line of propriety or are we beyond it?

This one is a difficult one to pin down. Of course, this person did not state they were single (which would have caused them a world of pain had they been discovered doing this) but by not indicating that they were in a relationship this suggests that they are available. And hence the addition of the attractive 'friends'.

It could be argued that the profiler had forgotten to update this vital piece of information. It could also be argued that the profiler was curious to see what attention they could get if they did not update it.

I guess it all comes down to intention. Intention is such a vague word and concept. It can't be proven or denied, only guessed at or claimed. If the intention of the profiler was purely to see who was out there in the wide world and to chat to a variety of different people, then that's surely not a great crime. But if the intention was to see what kind of attention they could glean from the opposite sex behind their partner's back, then it becomes questionable. Not cheating, but questionable. Questionable behaviour that, without the required restraint and knowledge of where to draw the line, could conceivably lead to cheating.

I guess there are no absolutes in the world and there certainly aren't any in love. Some people say "love like you've never been hurt" and that's all good with me, but do it with a clear mind and open eyes. There's a fine line between trust and gullibility. Mind you there is also a fine line between thinking critically and thinking cynically. The balance will be different for everyone.

For me, I could handle the attractive friends of the opposite sex - in theory. So long as they were clearly aware of this person's relationship status. If you leave to much open to assumption, you're very likely to find yourself on the receiving end of some less welcome assumptions. It's how it is. The world isn't that big, after all. Especially online!!

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