Coffs Harbour has been ranked second in the list of top 20 Australian ‘hotspots’ for cyber cheating while under quarantine.
The figures have been released by Ashley Madison Agency – an online dating service and social networking service for people who are married or in a relationship.
It was founded in 2002 by Darren J. Morgenstern, with the slogan ‘Life is short. Have an affair’.
Figures released this month show the site added 17,000 new members a day in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the 15,500 new members per day the site saw during 2019.
So while the world has slowed down and people are staying home to stop the spread, one thing that hasn’t slowed is infidelity.
As more and more people have been social distancing and working from home, the site has also seen a subtle shift in the time of day when conversations are taking place.
The hours between 10 and 11am and between 12 and 3 pm have seen a significant increase in messages over recent moths, and the shift to daytime hours for affair messaging is an indicator that people are (potentially) using work time as a cover to converse with a potential affair partner.
Meeting in person may be difficult or impossible at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped members from stepping outside their marriage.
New South Wales takes the top three spots with Albury, Coffs Harbour, and Newcastle, but Queensland leads the way in cyber affairs with seven cities on the list.
Interestingly, many cities in the top 20 are popular tourist destinations like Canberra, Adelaide, Cairns, Sydney, and Melbourne.
With tourism on pause for the time being, those who work in the industry may be looking for something to spice up their time off or take their mind off any hardships that come with being home more often than before.
“These cyber affairs serve as a release valve for individuals dealing with increased pressures in their marriage and domestic lives,” says Paul Keable, Chief Strategy Officer for Ashley Madison.
“With divorce rates reported to have increased in countries that have initiated their reopening, we’re offering an alternative pathway to help people cope and ultimately help couples preserve their marriage once the dust has settled.”