Digital infidelity: a rising city development

It starts off pretty innocently – you receive a friend request on Facebook from an ex-lover, a friend of a friend, or a guy you happened to meet at a party. You add them to your account and gradually forward your conversations through the instant messenger. One thing leads to another and before you know it, the language of your online conversations becomes informal, the content of your chats more personal, even more flirty! It doesn’t take long before you discuss your daily events, problems, and dreams with the person on the other side of the screen rather than with your spouse or partner in real life.

Sounds familiar? If so, indulge in “digital infidelity,” a rising urban trend of today’s Internet generation. According to a study by a leading university, social media users in committed relationships often use their online accounts to stay in touch with “backburners” – exes or platonic friends they know they can connect romantically with. On average, the participants stated that they had had romantic or sexual conversations with at least two people in addition to their current partner!

You can argue that a few naughty text messages, flirty DMs, or private emails are harmless fun and not synonymous with cheating. Perhaps, but if you go through a difficult period in your existing relationship, or if you have an argument with your partner, these may just become the reason for you to get lost.

Sex researchers suggest that online infidelity is on the rise. Why is it so tempting? Dating expert Dhara Sharma says, “Modern technology and the Internet have influenced and changed the nature of human relationships. Infidelity is easier today because you can reach and communicate with the world instantly. Thanks to the portability of smartphones, people can not only socialize online around the clock, they also have more choice and can communicate without having to pull too much money out of their pockets. This can happen anytime, anywhere – even if your ignorant spouse is just a few feet away! Because it’s virtual, people share sensitive information without feeling fearful or guilty about it. “With the explosion of the internet, social media and smartphones, it has become easy to keep in touch with people. You can also reveal as much or as little about yourself as you want, which will allow you to continually bring your best foot forward, so to speak. In other words, you can control your image and your perception more easily.

Ways to Protect Your Relationship
– Ask yourself if you feel emotionally connected to your spouse. If your communication over an online network becomes a personal support system rather than your marriage, you and your marriage are at risk.

– Decide together whether old flames, certain employees, employees, customers or people you do not know personally should be part of your social network. Your partner should know who you are communicating with and what type of relationship you have with the person you write or email on Facebook.

– How would you feel if your spouse shared intimate details, videos or pictures with another person? Is that acceptable? Everyone loves a compliment, but the key to avoiding infidelity is also to keep your phone and internet accounts open to your partner.

– Avoid sharing personal updates on fights, sarcasm, etc. Speak out your differences instead of posting them online.

– The key to any relationship is open and truthful communication. Be proactive about sharing things with your partner rather than creating a digital space.

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