Facebook poke leads to divorce

Georgina Hobbs-Meyer, married for only six months, caught her husband having cyber sex with another woman. The next step, naturally, was divorce.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read
(This post has been updated, as I misidentified Ms. Hobbs-Meyer as a Guardian journalist. She does write well, mind. Well, kind of. And she does wear glasses and looks very clever. On the other hand, I tried to find her on Facebook and couldn't. Perhaps you might be more successful. Perhaps, after all, she is a Guardian journalist and is telling a tall tale. Some seem to think so. Oh, it's so hard to tell these days. Or is it?)

It's like those adventure movies in which people fall down a big hole and you believe they'll never be able to get out.

In the last couple of weeks, it just seems that everyone has fallen into the chasm called Facebook and all the world's unpleasantries have been played out in its pages: murders, co-ruminations and, now, a particularly sad case of divorce.

Georgina Hobbs-Meyer waxed lyrically in the Guardian newspaper about how her marriage had waned because of her husband's Facebook sex with another woman.

You might imagine that Georgina had been married to this man for many long, painful years. If so, you would not have a sufficiently dark imagination. Georgina is 24 and was married for a mere 6 months before she discovered that her husband, presumably aged around 14, was sending Friend Suggestions that were a little too friendly.

I do not know if this man is offering his body on Facebook, but I feel sure he was not married to Georgina. CC Leonid Mamchenkov

Because this man sounds as wise as he does mature (yes, he left his Mac unguarded), Georgina began to follow his Facebook relationship: "And once I was in, I was hooked. Their lusty emails touched on bad Beat poetry, but were infused with textspeak, their coy cyberflirts rife with emoticons. It felt like I was stuck in a hyper-reality where Douglas Coupland wrote Danielle Steel novels."

Georgina is not immune from becoming something of a Danielle Steel heroine herself: "Most infuriating is my near-constant Facebook-style method of internal communication that I cannot switch off."

She continues: "Whenever I do something, I narrate internally. Something like: "Georgie is hacking into her husband's Facebook account just to see if she knows the password... Georgie is pleased she knows the password!... Georgie is disturbed to find her husband chatting to a very pretty 19-year-old rather a lot..."

Even after attempts at using Skype and email, their relationship died. Yet Facebook keeps her hooked to this dire episode in her life.

"Now single and unable to delete my husband from my list of friends (I am paralysed every time I try), I'm acutely aware that he can see my every move, just as I can see his," she writes.

"Foolishly, I fiddled with my settings and ramped up the amount of information I am fed about him. When he adds a friend or pretentiously quotes the vacuous Bret Easton Ellis in his status updates, it makes me want to vomit. And still I ramp it up."

Georgina co-ruminates with her readers that Facebook is "for the bored, the boring, the unfulfilled."

Oh, Georgina, too much faith in the kindness of man never helped a girl. Don't worry, the chaps at Google and NASA have promised us that soon there will be machines smarter than us.

We would do well to let those machines- perhaps with a SuperFacebook at their core- choose our life-partners for us. Let's face it, we're useless at it, aren't we?