Are Higher Gas Prices Driving People to Cheat on Their Partners?

In a day and time where it costs more to travel to get your groceries than the actual groceries themselves, it would be no surprise to see a correlation between paying astronomical prices at the pump and increased infidelity. Follow me here…

Let’s say my husband has a thirty minute commute to work in both directions. In his gas-guzzling 2005 Yukon (it seemed like a good idea pre-economic-meltdown) that we are too upside-down on now to trade in, that is a gas bill of nearly $250 a week. In the town where he works, a one-bedroom efficiency apartment rents for $450. For him to stay there, in this other town, away from his family and me for the entire week actually saves us $550. No little difference these days.

Now, my husband is a genuinely good guy. Being away from his family at night during the week is not going to make him cheat. But for some other men or women…overworked, underpaid, majorly stressed and now sleeping apart from their loved ones 2/3 of every month…not too big of a stretch to imagine that such a situation could result in a little extra-curricular “diversion”.

On the other hand, can we really blame everything on the economy? The media would like us to believe we can. The Democrats say it is the fault of the Republicans and the Republicans…they say the Democrats did it. Many people say in started in the housing and mortgage sector. Others say we can trace it back to 9/11.

I say this whole “economic crisis” is the best example of “Viral Marketing” I have ever seen. Long before there were actual signs of these dire straits, we were warned they were coming. Viral Marketing has commonly been referred to as “word-of-mouth” advertising…on steroids. You spread an idea to one “susceptible person” who then spreads it to at least two other “susceptible people”.

Because of the concept of doubling and “exponential growth”, pretty soon everyone is “infected”. This whole process…from seed to total saturation…is amazingly rapid because of the way it spreads…like a virus (former Intelligence Agent Mark Joyner explains this whole process—from idea to inception to annihilation—very well at

Basically, the impending doom and gloom of the whole “economic meltdown” spread in this way. It transmitted globally in a manner that can best be described as “viral”. Therefore, it’s a great example of how this process can work—for positive or negative messages.

The good news? We can learn very valuable business lessons from this case study. These being, that if you want to spread your marketing message quickly and effectively, you need to: a) Develop a compelling message; b) Find a “hungry” audience; c) Provide some incentive (or result) that is so powerful that it makes the initial audience feel like they must tell everyone they know or they will absolutely die. If you can find a way to do those three things…there is no doubt that we’ll be reading about you (and your business/site/organization) in all the papers…very soon.

– Kim

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