At The Tips Of Our Thumbs: How Smartphones And Dating Apps Have Made Cheating Easy

by Carly Marsh

Catching a cheater was once as easy as digging through emails or following his car to a trashy motel. Now, with user-specific privacy controls on social media, and apps like Tinder and Snapchat, cheating is easier than ever before.

I’ve been cheated on, I’ve caught cheaters and I’ve cheated myself. I’ve seen friends go through similar situations. Infidelity starts when the communication in the relationship stops.

Our generation’s fear of confrontation keeps us from ending a relationship when we know it’s run its course, or when we know we can’t get what we want from the person we’ve been seeing.

Instead of breaking up, we branch out. We look for other people to fill the emotional and sexual voids in our failed relationship. Some of us cheat.

Four years ago, finding out your boyfriend or girlfriend was cheating on you meant that you saw a salacious text from someone pop up on your significant other’s phone. Now the game has changed.

Before the world of dating apps, cheaters didn’t have an infinite pool of people to choose from. If their impulse to cheat was strong enough to act on, they’d have to go meet someone in real life.

Gone are the days when finding someone to hook up with outside of your social circle meant making yourself look presentable, doing your hair up, putting on your highest heels, and going to a bar on the outskirts of town to down shots of tequila and work the crowd.

Now, you can hunt for hookups while sitting pantsless on your couch with a bag of potato chips in your lap. All you have to do is swipe right.

There’s no limit to the ways people can use their smartphones to cheat, with apps like Tinder, Grindr, Snapchat and even Instagram at the tips of their thumbs.

Hook-up culture has created a generation of singles conditioned not to expect more than one night. Today’s dating market is full of people just looking for a good time and it’s created a feeding-frenzy for cheaters. It’s simple.

They don’t have to tell their Tinderellas that they’re not single, and the girls won’t ask to make sure.

Everyone knows that Snapchat makes sending sexts easier, too. Now, cheaters don’t have to worry about forgetting to delete that scandalous photo someone sent them the night before. Snapchat cleans out the dirty pictures automatically.

Instagram is the only app that makes it easy to catch a cheater. By simply opening the app and going to the activity menu, users can see everything the people they follow do on Instagram.

So, cheaters liking their mistresses selfies on Instagram and commenting things like, “hey sexy ;-)” are probably going to get caught right away.

But if the cheater has been getting away with an affair for quite a while and would like to start Facebooking his mistress without his girlfriend knowing, there’s a way to do that too.

All the cheaters need to do is tell their partners that they’re cleaning up their Facebook to make it look more professional.

Then cheaters can easily hide their relationship status on their timeline, and create a new Facebook list for their partner.

They can then restrict the content that their significant other can see in his/her feed and, voilà. Technology has made it possible for the slimiest cheaters of all time to exist, and has made it nearly impossible to catch them in the act.

Luckily most people in committed relationships don’t act on their impulses to cheat. But, unfortunately some do, and chances are you’ll be cheated on, see your best friend get cheated on or be the one doing the cheating at some point during your twenties.

In this new world in which a majority of Millennials are meeting each other with a swipe to the right, it’s hard to determine if the first date will lead to a second, and if the second will lead to a relationship a few weeks down the road.

If you’re going on dates and sleeping with multiple people you’ve met on your smartphone, are you living the dream of the single life, or are you a cold hard player cheating on all of them?

The lines are blurred. If you meet someone on Tinder and seem to be hitting it off for a while, when is it okay to ask him to delete the app?

In relationships, we value our privacy, and in a new relationship founded on Tinder, giving our new partner space and not asking if they’re still on the app can make us feel crazed.

Chances are if we do ask our unofficial significant other to delete it, they’ll label us as crazy and end things then and there.

This doesn’t mean Millennial relationships are doomed, but flames sparked on Tinder burn out faster than flames that spark in real life. The worst-case scenario is that you meet a cheater on Tinder who also has an OKCupid, an Instagram full of ab or bikini shots, and a Snapchat full of expired dirty pictures.

The best-case scenario is that you meet the love of your life, but how many happy Tinder couples have you met? I have yet to meet one.

Dating was never meant to be as easy as a swipe to the right. If you’re looking for a serious relationship free from the temptations of dating apps, delete your Tinder, put some pants on and go outside. 

Chances are you’ll meet someone in real life when you least expect it. And it’s likely that person will actually be interested in getting to know you, and not just interested in collecting OKCupid matches. 

Photo Courtesy: Banksy