Ashley Madison: The Lovers and the Haters

So I have been reading a lot of dribble on my Facebook feed this week regarding the Ashley Madison hack. Not so much the hack as it is about the release of the MILLIONS of email addresses associated with the website. A website built for married people to cheat on their spouses, if for some reason you have been living in a bubble and don’t know what Ashley Madison is.

Websites that were built to scour and identify the database of Ashley Madison clients, or let’s just say email addresses of people who had at one time created an account on the site, became public this week.

I was curious. I inputted my email address that I have used for the past 15 years and it came back NOT COMPROMISED! Whew, well I thought that would be the case unless someone had used my email address without me knowing it.

NOT COMPROMISED

Then I typed in an email address that I have used for SPAM purposes for the past 15 years. It came back:

Been compromised

And I wasn’t surprised with that result either.

Back in 2006 I was one unhappy woman. My marriage was a nightmare. I was in the throes of depression and taking medication that at times was adequate, at times inadequate, and at the time I logged onto Ashley Madison to see what it was about I was in a manic episode that would change the course of my life forever. I think I logged onto the site once and spent an hour or so creating enough of a profile that I could take a peek at what all the hubbub was about. I am pretty certain that after I spent an hour of my time checking out what the site had to offer it was enough for me. I never went back. My curiosity had been satisfied (or was it that I didn’t find any profile that intrigued me?) although the ache that led me to check out the site to begin with had not been. Let’s be clear, my intent at that point in my life was to escape from my life. Ashley Madison did not look like a promising enough escape and so it was discarded as a viable option.

I am very open about my life. I don’t hide behind my mistakes. I own them. I own everything about me. Some people love me for it. Some people hate me for it. The beauty with age is that you learn to embrace the lovers and let the haters go.

The beauty with age is that you learn to embrace the lovers and let the haters go.

I am not sorry for checking out Ashley Madison. I didn’t have to pay a penny to register on the site so I don’t regret that either. If I had spent money to do it, then I would have regrets. That says more about me than the actual “offense” I am writing about. Although I don’t find having an Ashley Madison account an offense at all. There were 32 MILLION email addresses registered. Wow. That is a lot of addresses. I am sure some people had multiple addresses, which granted them multiple profiles. So the actual users were probably lower than that number, but how much lower? In any case, that is a lot of people. And I am sure that many people who registered spent their hour on Ashley Madison and abandoned the site as their curiosity had been satisfied as well. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a booming business if all people abandoned the site after taking a peek, now would it? It basically served a purpose and I don’t care one way or another how you feel about the purpose of the site. I can see both points of view, and I can validate arguments on both sides.

I don’t want to get too long and drawn out here. My manic episode of 2006 would probably make a good novella. But that little book has been put on a shelf, only to be reminisced upon and occasionally dusted.

If you are one of those people that will enter email addresses of loved ones, take results with a grain of salt. Don’t let it cause sleepless nights. If it is a person in your life that needs to be confronted, confront them. Don’t let your mind get in a twisted game of “what ifs.”

As for me, my husband doesn’t even know what Ashley Madison is. I am sure if I talked to him about this subject tonight he would be clueless and then ask me questions and then get back to being excited that tomorrow is Friday. I obviously didn’t find my husband on Ashley Madison. I found him on Craigslist. But that is another story, for another time.

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