Is Online Flirting Cheating?
I am going to start out with a simple (or not so) question, “do you think flirting is cheating?” How about online flirting?
There has been much attention in the media lately – profiling some online, as well as up close and personal behaviors that have gotten several high-profile people into boiling hot water. Some were full out infidelity, but others related to online (mis) behavior. Each of these situations began somewhere to get to where they eventually ended.
When now former New York Congress-person Anthony Weiner owned up to his online voyeuristic behavior in early June, he flatly denied he had cheated on his wife. In his mind, he reasoned that since he hadn’t had sex with “that woman or any other woman,” as he put it, he didn’t cheat. What about that?
Has the flirting bar been raised through social media?
The timeless practice of flirting has changed in the digital age. Now, not only are people whispering sweet nothings in the ears of their virtual honeys, they can be accompanied by graphic sound and pictures, as Mr. Weiner so vividly demonstrated. The bar has been raised (or lowered, some might say) to a new level.
For married folk who engage in, and end up getting caught in this behavior, there are dire consequences. In a recent article, The Tech Journal quoted one law firm, which specializes in divorce that claimed nearly one in five petitions for divorce they processed cited Facebook as a contributing factor. In a study, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that online evidence is becoming even more prevalent in divorce cases.
Online: Where nobody knows my name
Online, nobody has to know your weight issues or that you are missing a tooth in the front or that you have failed miserably at past relationships. It seems like no issues, no immediate rejection, no fancy clothes, travel, just fun, right? So, what’s wrong?
Harmless fun or a path to destruction?
To engage in the flirt, emotional capital is invested. Is that investment possible without a connection with the focus of the attention? Does that connection cause disconnection with a spouse or partner? My focus here is to stir some thought and conversation and hopefully get you to think about your online behavior.
Pardon the pun – are you a Weiner or are you in love with one?