Online Infidelity – The new challenge to Marriage
The Internet has brought about many changes in our modern society. Social sites have been very beneficial to society in many ways. We have heard social sites have been helpful in reuniting families, friends even lost animals for that matter sometime one can even locate the right group of blood donor, we have even heard of Medical breakthroughs coming from online brain storming that would not have been possible ten years back. When two young boy and a girl meet on the internet they decide to get married but same thing can damage the marriage of married people which is “Online Infidelity” This article highlights the negative impact on marital relationship.
Infidelity or extramarital affair is understood as a violation of marital agreement, the betrayal of one’s trust and a threat to marital dispute. Online infidelity can be two types. Sexual & Emotional. With Online Infidelity being the latest emerging area of research. In west there are wealth of literature on this topic which is in sharp contrast to the lack of any published article on this issue in India. The aim of this article is to introduce the concept of online infidelity and sensitize mental health professional to this emerging new trend.
Definition of Online infidelity
With the development of the Internet, the definition of infidelity now includes a romantic and or sexual relationship with someone other than the spouse which begins with online contact and maintained only through electronic conversation that occur through email and chat rooms. The emphasis is mainly on the individual who are already into the committed relationship seek to be involved in Computer synchronous, interactive contact with a person of opposite sex. It can be either with a specific one person or it can be series of random erotic chat room encounter with multiple online user. The institution of marriage involves sexual & emotional bonding with only one person (The spouse) hence involvement with someone other than spouse is unacceptable hence caught with sufficient evidence is a punishable offence.
Social Media is allowing easy access of communication with family friends living any part of the world. This is also a way to connect with “old flames” or casually meet someone new. Sometime people use these sites simply to window shop or flirt believing it will lead to something more intimate.
Divorce rates have increased almost 40% in the last ten years due to social media or increased usage of internet. Some people think since there is no skin to skin contact it is not cheating.
The truth is, many of these casual affairs lead to legal disputes and Divorce because spouse considers it as breach of trust.
Recent data released by American Association of Trial Lawyer 81 percent of all divorce cases used some form of the evidence collected from Social Media.
Overall the increase in divorce rates from the use of social media has been significant enough that many social agencies have taken notice. Counselors are training in how to help couples that have been affected by social media affairs and attorneys also update themselves how to present this type of evidence in the court. It is believed this will have in upward trend, at least for the next decade.