We all know what an affair is – a person finds a partner and begins having a romantic relationship without their significant other being aware. In the past, affairs where black and white – and they continue to be, for the most part – but streaming services have added extra elements into the equation.
You can identify affairs, or at the minimum, get that “intuition” when something isn’t right. I’m not going to spend a ton of time identifying the top telltale signs of an affair, articles have been written about this in the past. But I am going to bring up three primary ones: Excuses to create opportunities, sudden changes in “possessive” behaviors, and choice of music / games / video likes and dislike changes. These are some of the classic tale-tale signs of an affair. Today, however, it is a different world – same rules – but different names and different mediums.
With the rise of popular live streaming platforms, the lines that used to define what an affair was and was not have been blurred quite a bit. It is becoming a lot harder for people to pick up on the red flags, or other subtle signs that your partner might be having an affair – especially over live streaming services. This is because being on the internet is a perfectly normal activity. With the rise of e-sports, it’s even more “normal” to follow e-sport athletes and gamers, without making it look like you have some sort of emotional connection to that personality. Once you develop this connection, however, you begin to spend more time on their stream, spend money on their channel, change your likes/dislikes, and at times change your entire schedule around their streams.
With a physical affair, you could see your partner make excuses to meet their affair partner. Eventually, this leads to spending money going out to eat, buying clothing items, gifts, etc. As an outsider, you can spot the changes – some physical affairs are expensive.
Virtually, however, a transaction could come across for as little as $1.99. On paper, your spouse is making a legitimate purchase. When you see your bank statements, it usually doesn’t include any names other than the screen name the streamer selected – something like: Toaster_Strudel (as an example).
The tips could also include the name of the platform that you gave the tip on. If that’s the case, a partner is going to have a hard time identifying an online financial affair when the names match everyday expenses.
The person having an affair may not associate their actions with infidelity. If we look at their actions from their point of view: They found somebody online that is entertaining. They enjoy watching their live stream. They enjoy being part of their fan base. Over time, however, they subscribe, donate, or gift money through other methods. Even if they don’t “feel” like they’re having an affair, they are still involved with this internet personality to the point where they know their schedule and make it a priority to ensure they are present on their live streams to encourage the streamer to keep streaming.
Now let’s look from the other side of the screen: the people streaming are potentially equally at fault here, although, at a much lower level. They create a profile and start streaming – for reasons that are not important for this article. Over time, they lose track of what is happening. People begin to show up and start conversations with the streamer and a few of them will even spend some money on tips and gifts. Suddenly, a hobby is generating them revenue.
If the streamer is not careful, they could begin to develop emotional connections with their community. Again, nothing wrong, until you single out members of your community.
- The person who gave me the biggest tip.
- The person who has watched me the most.
- The person who engages with me the most, etc.
Eventually, streamers begin to identify VIPs… and that’s where the problem starts.
This is not much different than having a sugar Daddy / Mamma relationship since they are pretty much just handing them money in exchange for some of their time. This is a gray area because they are live streaming and they might not think it to be a big deal that these people are giving them money. However, if they were to tell their significant other that they found a sugar daddy/mamma, it might not go over very well with them.
This isn’t to say that every live streamer or being on live streaming services is a bad thing, because it is not. The main issue here is when being on these services gets out of hand and begins to become a problem. Think about this:
Would you be comfortable with your partner being emotionally involved in the life of a stranger?
What if your partner was giving money to another person?
What if your partner canceled dates or events because they had to see someone else?
That’s what happens online, and all these things are considered “normal” to most people.
While live streaming services could be fun for both the viewer, and the streamer, it has also opened the way for a relatively new type of infidelity altogether. Sure, it’s not physical – but it still hurts the person outside loop.
Catching this type of infidelity is hard. The person being unfaithful does not even have to leave the house or show major signs of infidelity. The only signs you might see are small monetary contributions or more time spent on the internet in general. Both of which could be perfectly normal activities. And, if you walk into the room, their affair can be concealed with the push of a button.
Private investigators deal with physical affair investigations on the daily, but with the industry evolving as quickly as it is, cases like this might become more common in the future. If cases like these are not handled correctly, it could lead to even more tension within the relationship. Private investigators will need to better understand these services, and how to deal with cases involving social media and live streaming platforms.
If a red flag for an affair is – excessive texting with a stranger, emailing back and forth, or taking calls and talking to a person for long periods of time, then why is spending time watching an online personality, messaging them back and forth, and giving them money for acts they perform on line any different.