Community | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Cupid's Cursor

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Millions of people are online hoping to find love. But while the technology age is bringing people together, it's also helped tear plenty of real-world relationships apart.

Cheating, jealousy, and suspicion are the ugly words that can go hand in hand with love, dating, and marriage.

Before the internet and cell phones, it was more difficult to get hard evidence of betrayal.

Now, potentially jilted lovers can become their own private I's with undeleted trash bins, message threads, and the good ol' wall post.

"There are people paying a lot of attention really intently on what people are writing on your wall so it just kind of creates unnecessary drama and then everyone knows about everyone's personal business," said Patrick Shanton from Tallahassee.

Tenille Workman who's a student at FSU said, "People Facebook stalk a lot and girls get psycho sometimes and try to look at guys' Facebook and girls that they've been with and vice versa I guess."

But it goes deeper than just high school melodrama.

A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says one in five divorces cite Facebook as a factor in the marriage's failure.

80 percent of lawyers in that survey also say they've seen an increase in clients using social media as evidence in cases.

Tallahassee divorce attorney, Adam Cowhey says the virtual implications are very real.

"It's not just what the clients are putting on there, it's also what other people are commenting about the clients," said Cowhey.

"I see it with the younger demographic the vast majority of cases, what's the other party doing, how much money are they making, where are they working, who's commenting on the things they've been doing. Are they out of town when they say they're supposed to be out of town, or are they out enjoying nightlife when they children are at home with the baby-sitter."

Now thanks to the world wide web and a guy named Bradley you don't even have to break up with a cheating spouse, yourself.

Idump4u.com allows people to pay a guy named "Bradley" to call their significant other and have the dreaded conversation for them.

The call is then posted to the website as evidence of the relationship's termination.

For your average break up, the call will cost you ten bucks.

If you'd rather not be a runaway bride and need to bail out of an engagement, you'll dish out 25 dollars.

And for the vow breaking divorce call, 50 big ones are all it takes.

Some Tallahassee residents were appalled that such a site would even exist.

One man said, "That's kind of pitiful and lowdown. Why would anybody want to do that? I'd be mortified."

However, we can't give technology all of the credit for the mayhem and destruction.

"Usually the social media is the breaking point," said Cowhey. "You'll see the marriage start to dissolve months beforehand and all of a sudden you're up on their wall or whatever they call it and a proposed boyfriend or girlfriend comments 'Hey had a great time the other night.' Usually it's not what causes the divorce, it certainly doesn't help, but it is the breaking point."

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During February, love just seems to be in the air. However the traditional fairytale is heading down a different yellow brick road.

Technology has changed the way we live, play and even love.

Once upon a time boy met girl, passed her a note, and she said yes or no.

Now, texting, poking, tweeting and ematching have added a virtual field to the dating game.

"When you text her it's a lot easier because if you get rejected, it's just in a message. It's not like you're sitting there trying to call her," said FSU student Ron Crudo.

"Guys rarely come up to women anymore. It's kind of like I'll just message her, add her as a friend on Facebook," said 20-something Jazmine Toomer.

"Nowadays it seems a lot harder to meet someone in person because everybody is really focused on doing what they want to do," FSU student Jessica Piatt. "They're not really looking and it seems more convenient to use technology like internet and texting."

To meet someone a generation ago, we were confined to our location, school, work, church or random chance, but now true love could be around the corner, or in another country.

Jonathan and Rennai Kelly have been in marital bliss for the past five months.

"We really connected right away," said Rennai Kelly.

Their picture perfect romance seems to come out of a fairy tale, but in this case, the fairy godmother was a dating site, with a cursor instead of a wand.

"I sent her a message not thinking she was going to respond and she did," said Jonathan.

"I think we talked that Sunday night and went on a date that Tuesday," Rennai recounts.

Even though Jonathan went to FAMU and Rennai is a Seminole it took a website for them to find each other, even though like many, they had their reservations.

"I thought it was only for people who were lame, desperate or didn't have anything better to do with their time," said Rennai. "I know I used to talk around the subject and say we had a lot of friends in common on Facebook, which is true, but that's not how we met. After about three months, I was like what the heck I like him, no need to hide it."

But whether people admit it or not, millions are subscribing to the idea.

Match.com says 1 in 5 relationships starts online.

eHarmony touts its matchmaking powers are to thank for 5% of new marriages in the US with more than 20 million people using the site.

Then there are venues with fewer members that cater to different interests, like afroromance.com for people looking for the interracial dating scene.

Seniorpeople.com was created for the more mature audience, or Datepetlovers.com is available for those who want their significant other to love fido as much as them.

Let's not forget about Facebook and Myspace, where members might not be logging on for a date, but they're quickly given access to millions of potential suitors.

But when little girls read tales of princes, they imagine him finding their shoe not sending a poke through cyber space.

So how do today's singles feel about their story book romances coming from web pages?

"I hate it. I hate it I hate it. I would rather a guy come to me and talk to me. I don't want you Facebook messaging me. It's pretty lame to me," said a FSU student.

"It tends to make things easier initially because you don't have the awkwardness of the face to face conversation," said 20-something Patrick Shanton.

"Any way is good to me as long as I find the right one," said Piatt.

So whether it's a text, dating service, or random add, technology is bringing people together, even if they start off not admitting it.


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