Is it okay to follow an old flame on social media sites when you’re in a relationship? Are emotional relationships online crossing the line?
It’s a blurred line, and it depends on what age group you ask. According to a new report, “iFidelity: The State of Our Unions 2019” cohabitating Gen X, millennials are less likely to think these online emotional relationships are morally problematic, compared to older folks and married couples. The study finds 75 percent of baby boomers think secret emotional relationships are an issue, whereas 65 percent of millennials think it’s problematic. Still, the majority of those surveyed in both age groups do see it as a problem.
The study also finds that those who prevent themselves from engaging in secret emotional or sexual online behaviors tend to be in more satisfying relationships. But many people have found themselves pursuing alternatives online. Some experts say they’ve seen major confusion surrounding boundaries and expectations when it comes to couples, technology and the internet. People in relationships often don’t see these things in the same light either.
How has technology and the internet impacted your relationship?
Brad Wilcox, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, he’s the director of the National Marriage Project which provides research and analysis on the health of marriage in America.
Katherine Hertlein, a therapist and professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she focuses on the effects of technology on couples and families, she’s the primary author of the book, "The Internet Family: Technology in Couple and Family Relationships"