With the world being what it is and being more connected by technology than ever, it's very easy to stay in touch with people and to make new connections. Social media outlets are one of the main hubs for all of this interaction. Those are not the only tools, just one of them. With these tools they give life to new and intriguing ways to piss our partners off and inspire new ways to be inconsiderate and, well, an asshole. Enter “Cyber Cheating.”What the hell is cyber cheating anyway? I view cyber cheating, really, as an emotional affair with every bit the same level of ramifications of a physical affair. Sure, maybe there's no physical contact but that's not the only issue that people have with affairs. You see, when someone cheats, sure, there's a physical connection but there's also an emotional bond created by the cheater and their new toy box. Not only that, the act of cheating really is the actual manifestation of a lack of respect, love, and care for a significant other. This manifestation is unspoken. Really, what else need one say?
An example of cyber cheating could be I make a connection with a friend's friend after they post something funny on Facebook. I friend request them. So far, no foul, certainly no harm. Well, what should we think if, while in a relationship, I reach out to this new friend and compliment her photos saying how beautiful I think she is? Perhaps some witty back and forth messages, some public and some private… Okay, we're getting closer to the line and flirting with it. Then we start having deep conversations and sharing deep feelings and thoughts with one another. At this point, we're pretty much straddling the line, or at least I am. It's the point at which we begin to share feelings for one another and, perhaps, plan times to be online together to talk or what not. That's when the line gets crossed. Note that no physical in-person interaction has occurred at this point.
Even though no physical interaction has taken place, all the key emotional elements involved in physically cheating are present: Betrayal, Mistrust, Disrespect, Deceit, intimate discourse (not intercourse, you pervs). When these things are present in an online relationship then, you bet, that's cheating. Pure and simple; cut and dry.
There are grey areas, sure, but there is always a line. Sure, it's okay to flirt and such but if you're not careful it can escalate so quickly… There are warning signs though. Does your partner seem over protective of their computer and their emails, messages and such? Do they wait to go online when you're not around or asleep or otherwise indisposed? Do they get agitated when you ask them about their online activities? Do they quickly browse to another site or bring up a different page when you enter the room? These aren't absolute tell tale signs your significant other is cheating on you, but they are classic trademark signs that something might be up!
In the end it doesn't matter if the cheating is online or offline, cheating is cheating.