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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.

15 comments:

Shrinky said...

I think any on line friendship is open to deception, I know this from experience. Last year, I met up with a fellow blogger whom I thought I had got to know well down the months, she had a great sense of humour and a sharp wit. I have never met anyone in person from "on-line" before. "She", turned out to be this big, hairy guy in drag - eeeeeeeeek!! - I simply wanted to DIE. Sigh..

Ina in Alaska said...

Re Shrinky... OMG what a life lesson!!

I feel the people I have met online are very honest. I am way too hooked on the blogs though. It has taken away almost entirely my book reading and I was an avid book reader prior to starting my blog. I am still trying to figure out how to get that book reading time back.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Shrinky, that must have been an eye opener for sure. I worry about the young people who are so trusting and meet friends online.

Hello Ina, you don't have as much time as I do. You still work and you have three pets you want to take care of and you and Ron do social things. That is pretty full right there.

Brian Miller said...

intriguing...actualy i know quite a few that engage in decption online and it is cheating. if you have to keep it a secret, its probably not good.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Very interesting and timely topic.

While I don't engage in deceptive or flirtatious online chats, we have definitely invented a new kind of interaction which is not based on the same things as all previous ones. And like Ina, emailing, if not blogging, has seriously cut into my reading time, which I regret.

Ronda Laveen said...

I have a hard time believing that people do that but I know many who do. I feel the same as you. Not going there.

otin said...

I can tend to get a feel for people. Most of the bloggers who I have met are exactly like I picture them.

Eternally Distracted said...

I totally agree. I see texting to be similar too...It allows people a confidence and cheekiness that maybe they don't have in 'real' life.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Interesting post. I'm with you and sharing the love with only my husband.

And... what a coincidence, we're going to Israel on Tuesday!

xo

Lou said...

I think online chatting is the same as real life flirting. It can get you in trouble in no time, if someone takes you up on it.

smiles4u said...

Very interesting article. I do agree for the most part. I do think that it happens way more then many of us realize. I know for me personally that having this avenue keeps me connected to others where as I would be isolated other wise. My husband knows about everyone that I know in the blog world but I do wonder if I was still married to my ex would that be the case?

Brian Miller said...

thanks for the warm wishes for my mom today...she came through surgery nicely and is resting now. thank you. smiles.

Unknown Mami said...

I don't engage in deceptive online behavior, but I have to say I think that it is addictive. I think about it far too much and really need to be more "present" when I'm offline.

janeywan said...

I think I know my internet buddies fairly well, but I know deception is rampant like all the other deadly sins. Deception is one of the deadly sins isn't it?

I also believe in Karma.

Spencer L Casey said...

This is it exactly. If you do anything online that you would not tell your love, then you are cheating. Period.