Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Keep It On the DownLoad

As we all know the Internet is also known as the "Information Super Highway." When I was first introduced to the Internet back in the 90's I had no clue that the Internet would become what it has become. The Information Super Highway has surpassed the German Autobahn. In other words, there are absolutely no limits as to where you can go on the Internet nor how fast you can get there. I mean whatever your heart desires you can find it on-line. That's right anything from a piece of food resembling Jesus or the Virgin Mary
http://www.mrbreakfast.com/article.asp?articleid=23 to a wig for your cat http://kittywigs.com/wigindex.html. Yes I said a damn cat wig!! Click the link if you don't believe me. Lol.

But one thing that is probably the easiest thing to find on the Internet is pornography. According to statistics adult websites generate over $1 Billion in revenue yearly. There are more than 72,000 sexually explicit websites on the Internet and new sites are being added at a rapid rate of 266 per day. 25% of total search engine requests are porn-related. (Top three searches: sex, mp3 and hotmail). 8% of total emails are porn-related. The average daily pornographic emails are 4.5 per Internet user and 12% of total websites are pornographic. So again, as you can see whatever you want no matter how sick or distasteful you can find it on the Internet.

In fact, I recently came across a statistic that stated one-third of divorce litigation is actually sparked by online affairs. So, my question of the day is this. Is an online/Internet affair still considered cheating? Some people would say absolutely yes, some others would say no, and plenty remain on the fence. I'm just going to explore some aspects of each area and the good people out there can be the judge for themselves. There will be plenty of questions posed and you can answer them to yourselves as you read along.

Let us start by first defining a few terms. First term is adultery. http://www.dictionary.com/ defines adultery as: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse. Next, they define the word cheat as: Informal. to be sexually unfaithful (often fol. by on): Her husband knew she had been cheating all along. He cheated on his wife. Next, is the word infidelity is defined as 1. marital disloyalty; adultery. 2. unfaithfulness; disloyalty.
3. lack of religious faith, esp. Christian faith. 4. a breach of trust or a disloyal act; transgression. Finally, let's look at the word unfaithful, which is defined as: not sexually faithful to a spouse or lover.

Alright we now know how the dictionary defines the words adultery, cheating, infidelity, and unfaithful. As for the word adultery, the definition strictly addresses the sexual intercourse aspect. So, as we know "cyber-sex" definitely does not involve any physical contact so I would say it doesn't fit into the text book definition of adultery. In fact, when you break it down into it's simplest form, cyber-sex is nothing more than typing. That's right 2 people typing to each other. Now true enough the subject matter is what places cyber-sex into that grey area. But comparing the definition of adultery and the act of having cyber-sex do not equal the same thing by a long shot.

Now please keep in mind I am not in any way stating that it is right for an individual male or female to participate in cyber-sex if they are in a marriage or committed relationship. I'm simply stating that based off the definition I don't think it is adultery. But I'm sure some individuals are thinking yes it is, I don't care what you say or what the hell Webster (Dictionary) or Mr. Papadopoulos say. Lol. So, for those of you with that position let's explore a few examples and see if you consider them adultery as well.

Example 1: Say for instance there is a husband that frequents a local strip club from time to time. Let's Say he goes once every 2 weeks on his pay day. He stops in after work with some co-workers, has some drinks, watches the ladies, tips, and pays for a couple of private dances. He does nothing more than this. So would you consider his actions adultery?

Example 2: There is a husband that tends to watch pornography. It is not an excessive amount but he does buy and rent movies on a semi-regular basis. He doesn't necessarily hide them from his wife but they are of course not in plain view along with the regular dvds. So is him watching pornographic movies adultery? But let's take it a step further what if instead of movies he views the pornography on the Internet? Last question what if he was viewing someone (a stranger) on a web cam would that too fall into the same category of adultery? Are all of these actions one in the same or is perhaps one worse than the rest?

Example 3: An attractive wife tends to be flirtatious by nature. She doesn't try to be but she just comes off flirty in most conversations with men. Not to mention her looks obviously attract a lot of attention when she's out in public, especially from men. So, say for instance while at the grocery store she flirts with one of the stock boys. And let's say that the package they discussed in the conversation wasn't one of the boxes he was unloading. However, their conversation never go beyond the flirting and her time in the store. Is she committing Adultery?

I don't know what your individual answers to the above examples are but personally my answer is no to each of them. Now that doesn't mean that I don't feel that these spouses aren't dabbling in behavior that is suspicious at best, and definitely disrespectful, if their spouses are unaware of what they are doing. Also, in each case there is potential that their actions can eventually lead to adultery taking place. But just the actions themselves I do not consider aldutery, cheating, or being unfaithful, based on our definitions. However, if you recall two of the definitions of infidelity were (1. marital disloyalty; adultery. 4. a breach of trust or a disloyal act; transgression). So by definition I can definitely agree that these are all acts of infidelity because they are showing a level of disrespect to their spouses as well as proving themselves untrustworthy.

So how far is too far when it comes to "Internet Infidelity?" Is simply chatting in a regular chat room too much if you're married or in a committed relationship? Many would argue that if you're in a marriage then you have no reason even be in a chat room to begin with. You should be chatting with your spouse right? Well I play poker online and many of the poker websites have a chat feature. There have been times when females have attempted to chat with me. Usually starting with something like "ASL?" For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym it simply stands for Age, Sex, Location. Basically the other person is asking for your details starting with those 3. So, how far is too far? What about exchanging photo's with the person that you're chatting with? Or chatting while using a web cam? Now Keep in mind that the person on the other end is a total stranger that is probably located in some far away place. Many would say that as long as it's not chatting with someone they know personally that it's alright. For instance, if they were constantly chatting with say a co-worker is much worse than with a total stranger. The reason mainly being that if they know the person there is much more potential for harmless chatting to turn into something more. So what about chatting sexually (having cyber-sex) with that person too far? What if it's simply a cyber-sex thing and you never share anything more? Or contrast that with just chatting in general (no cyber-sex), but in those chats you share bits of your personal life, problems (possibly with your spouse), and emotions with that person? Which is worse? I'm sure anyone that has been cheated on before (I being one of them) would agree that physically being cheated on is bad enough, but when the cheater then develops an emotional attachment it's far worse.

So going further let's try this one. By now everyone and their momma at least has either a myspace, facebook, or blackplanet page. But should married individuals have them? Is that crossing the line? Some would say no it's fine just as long as your relationship status reflects that you're indeed married. Or some would say that as long as they are only using the networking site to stay in touch with current friends and re-connect with past ones there is nothing wrong with that. But my question is this, who really wants guys or girls across the world writing on their husband or wife's wall/message board saying how attractive they are? Or sending them notes or messages trying to holler at them all day long? Not trying to sound like the jealous type but I know if I was married I wouldn't be comfortable with it. Plus wouldn't having access to millions of potential "friends" be sort of a temptation? Or try this what if you met your significant other online would it be wrong for you to want them to terminate their myspace (or any other social networking) account? That's no different than a couple that met in say the club and all of a sudden one spouse says I don't want you to go to the club anymore. Is that not a contradiction?

I think the fact of the matter is that each individual couple has to establish how far is too far? I personally think when the individual is attempting to be sneaky and inconspicuous with it then that's a red flag that the chatting may be something more. I mean if it's all innocent and means nothing then what's there to hide. There should be no need for any of the following behavior if it's simply innocent chatting. For instance, if your spouse walks in the room the screen shouldn't have to be minimized nor should you be turning off the entire computer. Also, constantly chatting while your spouse is sleeping or at work, and having all of your accounts and computers password protected. Lastly, deleting the cookies on your computer after each use. All of these activities are definitely the work of someone that is trying to hide something and it can't be anything innocent.
So in conclusion, if your significant other is spending more time online than they spend with you then there could definitely be an Internet affair going on. More than anything, I think any affair whether Internet based or actually in person points to a much deeper problem. Something is lacking or not being fulfilled within the marriage or relationship. If a person will take the time to form a bond whether sexually based or emotionally based on the Internet when they have a spouse physically there living in the same home as them, then again there's something lacking. Unfortunately, if you are in this position I can't tell you what it is you'll have to do some soul searching yourself to discover the answer. But take it from someone that's been cheated on before (don't worry it was not Internet based) it's not a good feeling at all. But unfortunately, in today's times you not only have to watch out for the other man/woman on the street trying to steal your spouse. Now, you have to worry about the potential of anyone on the entire World Wide Web becoming a "cyber-mistress." Which is indeed a Sad Reality.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

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