With over a billion tweets sent on Twitter every week and over 600 million accounts on Facebook, our social lives and behavior have become more digital. We send text messages to ask people out on dates, and late at night when we can’t sleep, we get comfortable with our computers and see who else is awake to chat with.
We were on digital overload with the Anthony Weiner twitter sex scandal, the first congressman forced to resign when he broke the boundaries by sending inappropriate photos on Twitter. Sure we got tired of Weinergate, but it makes us ask the question at hand, “Is Flirting on Facebook and Twitter Considered Cheating?”
I asked some of my social media friends and innocent bystanders in real life this question with mixed results in their answers.
Lori Moreno, a Twitter superstar who writes about love said, “Yes. It’s emotional cheating.” Moreno added, “You need to take that energy and put it into your own relationship.”
Heather Meeker, a social media consultant believes flirting on Twitter and Facebook is tacky and crosses a line that’s unacceptable. “It’s not physically cheating, but it’s emotional cheating,” said Meeker.
I then asked two men seated at the trendy bar their thoughts on the subject. A university professor told me he didn’t think flirting in person once was cheating. The other gentleman said, "As long as there was no physical contact, flirting online wouldn’t be classified as cheating."
Meanwhile, our friends at The Frisky conducted a poll of their readers on the subject with the following results
- 48.34% felt that flirting over social media is disrespectful and unfaithful.
- 42.79% believed that a little flirting is understandable, but sending or asking for photos is really wrong.
- 3.6% believe that sending or asking for photos would only bother them if the pictures were explicit or nude.
- 3.28% said they didn’t care what their partner was doing online as long as they weren’t physically cheating on the sly.
- 1.9% were undecided or had another explanation.
My take on the subject when I talk about the Rules of Netiquette in matters of the heart is you shouldn’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do offline. There’s a difference between being friendly versus flirty, but it’s a very grey area. Social networks are typically 2-dimensional places where you’re entitled and expected to be social media friendly, but setting appropriate boundaries are an absolute must if you’re in a committed relationship or marriage.
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