Social media has become a very big part of the lives of Americans. For a lot of us, almost every single day is spent updating statuses, uploading photos, tweeting or hashtagging like crazy.
Let’s ask ourselves this, why is the one thing that is supposed to unite and connect the whole world also causing 20 percent of today’s divorces, according to an article from the New York Daily News? Because we live in an age where technology is king, even when it comes to cheating on your significant other.
A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook” according to Divorce Online. This statistic is staggering, and is not okay.
So, we think this is okay to do over the Internet because we are less likely to get caught, right? Try again.
The Internet is the most widely used and publicized form of communication. Chances are if your partner doesn’t catch you sneaking a few promiscuous comments to the personal trainer from the gym, then a friend will be more than willing to fill them in.
Sure, many may think it’s not considered cheating, because it’s not the actual act, which I do agree with. However, would you find it appropriate to approach a man or woman while you were out with your partner and start whipping out all of your cheesy pick-up lines? The answer is probably not.
Even if you’re just typing it, you’re still thinking about doing it. Just because the words didn’t necessarily come out of your mouth, doesn’t mean they didn’t come out of your brain. A relationship without trust is really not a relationship at all.
Here’s a bit of advice for the people with significant others who flirt over Facebook or even do a bit of sexting: Just don’t do it.
If you’re unhappy in your relationship, or maybe things aren’t up to par in the bedroom and you’re looking for a bit of excitement, communication is always your best friend (and I don’t mean over the Internet).
Talk to your partner face-to-face and let them know how you are feeling. As a couple, two brains are better than one. Come up with a plan, whether it be relationship counseling, vacation or if you really don’t want to be in the relationship, breaking up.
It’s not a very trustworthy relationship when you’re constantly curious about your partner’s actions over social media. Stalking each other’s Facebook profiles or Twitter accounts does not lead to a healthy relationship.
After all, curiosity did kill the cat.
A few exchanged words across the lines of the Internet, with a winky face and a bit of flattery, leading up to full on flirtation back and forth.
In our internet filled age, this is more and more of a common experience, but the real question is: does that count as cheating?
If you are in a committed relationship with another person, this is definitely cheating.
Flirting online is exactly the same as kissing or sleeping around with someone other than your significant other. All of these are a breaking of a trust that is needed to have a healthy relationship.
In a sense, a person is seeking out something that they should be getting from the relationship they are currently part of, but they feel they are not and instead of calling it off they find another person to secretly give that to them.
It’s just flirty words, and words are cheap, but most relationships are built off of a few exchanged words and flirtations that lead to something more.
What is to stop a person from taking that online flirtation further and meeting in person, thereby getting to those higher levels of cheating? The answer is nothing.
A report released recently from Christian Mingle and JDate called the State of Dating in America, found that out of the 2,700 singles surveyed, 77 percent of women believe that having an emotional relationship counts as cheating, while 55 percent of men feel the same way.
Similarly the survey found that 82 percent of women and 56 percent of men believe that texting or flirting online is cheating.
This shows that more than half of each gender surveyed found that anything that might lead to emotional attachments should be considered cheating. As well they should.
Flirting in the physical world is used to lead to something more, generally to get a date or to sleep with someone, and online flirting is exactly the same thing. If it’s cheating to flirt with and hook up with someone in the physical world, flirting and hooking up online is cheating as well.
Studies undertaken by the American Psychological Association found that Americans are spending as much time online as they do watching television, meaning that more and more of daily lives are beginning to revolve around technological associations rather than flesh and blood.
Why cheat online? The better question would be why not. The internet provides an anonymity that the real world never could offer.
A person can hide behind an IP address to bash someone on an Internet forum, hack and steal information or hook up with some random person they just met in a chat room to engage in cybersex without there being the knowledge of who they are.
However, there is no such activity in existence that comes with no consequences at some point.
Whether a person believes it’s cheating or not, turn off your computers and focus on the person you are in a relationship with. Flirting online just isn’t worth the risk.