See Full Story
In an era when people routinely deliver life-changing news via text and e-mail -- "I want a divorce," "I'm pregnant," "You're fired" -- it is perhaps inevitable that a service offering to automate and anonymize a personal, painful message is gaining traction. inSpot, a peer-to-peer, Web-based system, allows people to send free e-cards to sexual partners informing them that they have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. The site allows people to send the cards -- up to six at one time -- anonymously if they choose.
This is a great concept and program. I applaud the authors and sponsors.
As a sexually active, monogamous adult however, the thought that almost immediately crossed my mind was how the service could be used to 'test' a partner's fidelity to monogamy. Send your partner an ecard stating they had been exposed to an STD and wait for the reaction. If they immediately ask if you have been fooling around on them it suggests one answer and if they surreptitiously make a lab appointment you can draw the opposite conclusion.
Of course, as the sender you are faced with having evoked the innocent party's suspicions of you. What do you do now? Admitting you were 'testing' them is probably more damaging to the relationship than professing ignorance and leaving the lingering doubt in their mind.
Ah, the twisted webs we weave in the course of human interaction.