*Katrina_Bjerski is her social media name. Young, beautiful and sexy, she likes to show off what she got. Her sculpted midriff peeking out from a cropped t-shirt, her long hair straight and shiny, her smooth cheeks blushed pink as her red lips protrude out in duck-like perfection. She strikes a pose. That one shot garners over 100 likes on Instagram. She embellishes it.

My good friend, *Ken, is one of many of those likes. Both in their mid-20s, He had met her in person when he was interning abroad. Now he was adoring her from afar. As a techie, he is a bit of a geek, sometimes shy and shunned social media because of privacy reasons. I know this because he told me so. But here he was in the limelight of thousands of friends and fans, unwary that he may be found out.

One day he innocently added his girlfriend, *Cathy, on Instagram. She found out about Katrina_Bjerski and went “ape shit” (his words). She started asking all sorts of hard questions like who she is, where they met, why he was liking her. It even went deeper to if he really loved her, if they should take a break, didn’t he find her attractive, etc. He didn’t understand her reaction. She was just some girl he tried to date, but “she didn’t talk much and it was hard to get anything out of her.” He decided he didn’t want to that “that kind of girl.”

Ken tried to explain to Cathy, but for a few days she gave him a cold shoulder. He asked me to talk to her. I reluctantly complied.

Cathy was visibly upset. “I feel hurt,” she said. “It wasn’t like he was just liking her posts. It’s what that represents.” She equated the likes to men gawking at pretty girls on the streets, some whistling, some admiring a quick look and others wanking to the memory in the secrecy of their bedroom. “And…he’s not that type of guy. He hates showing off and people who do,” she explained.

She’s right. Ken isn’t like that. He was adamant about his privacy on Facebook. He wasn’t active on social media; he didn’t like it much. But there he was peeking in to the private fortress of the girl-next-door as she positioned herself in front of thousands of admirers, sometimes dressed in lingerie, sometimes in tight shorts, other times in casual jeans, behind the backdrop of green mountains, but all of them with an undertone of playful teasing. “I mean look at her. She’s nothing like me,” Cathy opined.

“What’s the harm?” Ken defended himself when I told him how Cathy felt. “I liked her posts ‘cuz it was “artistic.” Okay, true, those pics were artistic, almost professional-like. I suspected that Katrina_Bjerski modeled on the side and perhaps those pics were from that. But, Ken, c’mon, we all know you liked it because you like her. You wanted to date her. You find her attractive and perhaps you want her to know, right? “Well, I guess so. Yes, she’s attractive,” he admitted.

I explained to him that for a girl it’s important that her man doesn’t stray, not even on social media. “It’s not like I’m cheating on her,” he said with fervor, “I love her. She should know that.” I explained to him that it was in par to staring at an attractive girl while you are next to your girlfriend. I told him to do that while he is not around her, but when she is around, he needs to control himself. He grunted, then agreed reluctantly.

From that day on, he unfollowed Kartina_Bjerski and made a point to like Cathy’s posts. I asked Cathy if she felt better now. “I don’t know,” she said, “He could be looking at her secretly and who knows what else he is hiding.” So, it didn’t help that he unfollowed her? “Well, it’s respectful to me, I guess, but now I don’t know what he’s doing. Now that I know that he has this other side, I feel more insecure now.”

I asked if Ken has ever been unfaithful. She said no. I asked her if she knew he loved and cared about her. She said yes.  “I know I sound irrational. I don’t know how to explain it. I feel like he cheated on me and now he has room to cheat without me knowing. At least before, I knew.”

I didn’t know what to say. Then without warning, an image of Ken in front of his laptop admiring Katrina_Bjerski’s many seductive poses flashed before me.

*Names has been changed to protect the identities.
Note: Girl pictured is not Katrina_Bjerski.