If you haven’t heard of the Canadian owned website Ashley Madison before, you will certainly have heard about it by today.
The website, whose service is to connect those wishing to commit infidelity, was hacked earlier this week revealing private and personal details of its millions of users.
To read more about the hack you can visit this article: Ashley Madison website hacked
This incident has set people worldwide into a spiral of paranoia. Not only users who are now afraid their spouses will find out about their cheating, but also individuals who may have previously suspected infidelity from their partners. All of this is especially true in the beautiful city I call home, Ottawa.
Ottawa, Ontario Canada is the city with the highest number of users per capita in Canada (and maybe globally). According to data reported in the National Post there are 189, 810 Ottawans with Ashley Madison subscriptions.
That number is staggering considering our population is approximately 883, 000. That means about 1 in 5 Ottawa residents are users of this site and either have cheated or were thinking about cheating on their spouses. Walking around the grocery store today made me look at everybody a little differently, that’s for sure.
Jon Weaks, a municipal employee, was quoted saying:
“Everybody says Ottawa is a sleepy town and here we are with 200,000 people running around on each other!”
Noel Biderman is the chief executive of Avid Life. Earlier this year a report was published where Biderman said that Parliament was the area of Ottawa where most new users were coming from. His theory was that Ottawa, being a political hub, may explain the high membership rate. He claimed that capital cities commonly have higher infidelity rates because of “power, fame and opportunity”. This idea is reinforced by the fact that Washington houses the highest amount Ashley Madison users per capital in the United States.
Ottawa marriage counselor, Nataxia Cini, explained that in a city like Ottawa where there are many professionals with taxing jobs (many of which are in the government) that families and relationships may be under more strain and experience more stress than in other cities. Cini furthered that for individuals with jobs in the spotlight, having a successful and stable family is important to keep up appearances so people may take to infidelity before heading towards divorce.
It’s all pretty shameful, if you ask me. Families are not a one dimensional badge of honor. If you choose to cheat, it’s likely that your relationship is already over and instead of dragging other people’s emotions through the mud; you should put on your adult panties and break it off before stepping out.
In January a new website called FidelityDating was launched by Julie Surrey and Gary Spivak. It is for individuals who believe in the principals of monogamy and have experience the hurt of infidelity. They are a direct stab at websites like Ashley Madison.
FidelityDating’s slogan is “Love is precious. Stay faithful”…a polar opposite to Ashley Madison’s slogan which is “Life is short. Have an affair”.
One of the things you have to do in order to be admitted as a member of FidelityDating is that you have to agree to this term of use:
“By signing up, you agree you are not in a relationship. You will be honest and faithful.”
While Spivak and Surrey confess that there is nothing binding about the agreement, they say that the condition of use will still draw in “the right type of person” to join the site. The site gained more popularity after The New Dr. Drew Show expressed support and sanctioned the website.
FidelityDating may have mainly middle aged people as users but their membership is growing widely. Their users include both gay and straight clients. 60% of users are men and 40% women. The ages of their users range from mid-20’s to early 70’s. With that kind of breadth, there’s certainly someone for everybody!
Of course all dating sites are vulnerable to the type of attack Ashley Madison faced, but with such a controversial message that Ashley Madison spreads, they are a walking bulls eye for hackers with a mission. This hack will hopefully be a wakeup call to those going online looking for some fulfillment outside their marriage.
I’m optimistic that it will change the online dating game for the better even if it means in the coming months many marriages will become just another statistic.