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New Wave Of Internet Technology And The Effects On Off Line Relationships

3389 words - 14 pages


There is a new place for exploration in regards to relationships; traditionally we meet people on the street, at bars or by other friends. However, since the vast expansion of Internet users, there have risen new ways of interacting and communicating with others. There are places on line that are specifically made to meet people in different context and environments. Some of these areas include instant message engines, chat rooms, and different other Internet based companies, which provide these services. Along with these new technological advances, as with many other things, there are negative outcomes. There has been research done on how these new ways of communication may cause turmoil to a relationships, through the idea of ~{!0~}Internet Infidelity,~{!1~} Internet infidelity is defined by Shaw, ~{!0~}as taking the sexual energy of any sort thoughts, feelings, and behaviors out side a committed sexual relationship in such a way that it damages the relationship, and then pretending that that this drain in energy will affect neither partner or the relationship as long as it remains undercover. (p. 29)~{!1~} Some individuals discount these acts of interactions on line as ~{!0~}non-real,~{!1~} therefore not constituting them as cheating; but through my research and my qualitative inquiries, I have found that ~{!0~}cyber cheating~{!1~} may and has caused dire consequences in relationships.
There has always been a concern about cheating with in relationships. However, the risk seems to have increase with the advances of new technologies, such as the Internet and the services it provides in regards to meeting people. The Internet now offers many opportunities to meet people on-line through services such as on-line personal ads, chat rooms, and instant messenger systems. It is reported that, ~{!0~}national averages indicate that families have wholeheartedly adopted the computer and the Internet access into their homes in relatively short time. The exponential growth of Internet access at home raises questions regarding how Internet sexuality influences couples sexual relationship and sexual satisfaction~{!-~}(Gonya, 2004, p. 386)~{!1~} These new technologies have provided individuals in relationships the opportunity to venture in to a new way of what would be considered ~{!0~}internet infidelity.~{!1~} The reason people get trapped into this type of behavior may differ depending on what ever motives are intended by their Internet usage. Some researcher believe that individuals might be drawn to the internet to make friends or simply to find others like them that are looking for someone that can replace the intimacy that has been lost in their current relationship. There is however the perspective of certain individuals have a different perceive to the ~{!0~}realness~{!1~} of these encounters since they are in some way abstract and not face-to-face; the anonymity and the convenience of making up your own persona also...

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