December 11, 2009
Online Party Nothing Like The Old Party Line
Cyberspace: Love Online is an article in Psychology Today.
Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, a philosopher who is now president of Haifa University in Israel, does not think intimate Internet relationships, and even cyber sex, are all bad. But he does think they could have an impact on the way we conduct offline life and even change our view of infidelity. The subtle but important ways it influences "real" life, is the subject of a fascinating book, Love Online: Emotions on the Internet.
Ze'ev calls cyberspace a kind of "mentally nude commune," where people often strip off their masks. What nudity leaves undone, imagination finishes. Imagination, which paints cyberspace in more intense and seductive colors, also helps people satisfy some of their most profound desires.
What's so ironic about using the internet is that it's a solitary activity that leads to social contact-while it isolates users from their own families, the people in the very next room. One reason it does this is that Internet use is almost addictive; the rewards of contact are so immediate and so pleasurable. And while cyber relationships can be more sincere and open than offline relationships, they also leave a great deal of room for deception, although online relationships are marked more by dreams than deception.
There are times when chatting is cheating. And there's a very simple way to know when you've crossed the line: There's deception.
If you engage in an Internet relationship that you keep secret from your real-life mate, you're engaging in deception. "Chatting is not cheating when the significant other knows about it," says Ze'ev. The trouble with deception is that it kills intimacy and ruptures trust in the primary relationship.
I found this article interesting enough to include it in my blog. I don't know anyone personally who engages in deceptive online behavior, but I believe there are some people, some men and some women, who find a little titillating behavior invigorating. Nothing against them or their behavior, I'm just saying I wouldn't be comfortable expending any of my Luv Energy anywhere but toward my hubby. That's just me.
Posted by CiCi