Living in the age of social media can be confusing at times, especially when it comes to relationships.
Traditionally, when you kiss, make out with or have sex with someone other than your significant other, odds are — unless you’re living in some sort of open relationship or something — it’s going seriously piss them off and be considered cheating. But does the same go for simply following an ex on social media, or even sending flirty messages to a co-worker? Well now we have data from a pretty decent sample size that should shed some light on the topic.
Deseret News reports that 25% of those questioned in a recent study don’t consider a one-night stand to be cheating. While 51% think sending flirtatious messages is always cheating, another 19% feel watching porn alone is also always cheating, and 16% consider following an ex on social media to be cheating.
Physically touching someone other than your partner used to be a defined line of what was considered cheating. But with social media as prevalent as it is in all of our lives, the line is becoming increasingly blurred, as indicated by Katherine Hertlein, a therapist and professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who studies how technology affects family life.
“New technologies muddle old assumptions about adultery, creating a gray area that couples can struggle to navigate together,” said Hertlein.
“I’m very surprised when I ask a couple about their definition of infidelity during premarital counseling and they respond, ‘What are you talking about? It means physically touching someone else,'” she said. “I tell them they need to wake up. It’s 2017!”
A general rule of thumb, if you think it’s cheating, it probably is. So if you wouldn’t want it done to you, you probably shouldn’t do it either.