Micro-cheating is a label increasingly being used to describe behaviour which falls into a grey area between friendly interaction and infidelity
At least old-fashioned philanderers knew where they stood. For them, only an extramarital affair was considered cheating.
In the modern, digital age, however, it takes an awful lot less to wreck a relationship. Welcome to the world of “micro-cheating”.
An academic has declared it to be the new method for couples to tear each other apart. According to Martin Graff, a psychologist, all it now requires is the click of a computer button for a partner to be considered unfaithful – and with all the same consequences as a full-blown affair.
Micro-cheating is a label increasingly being used to describe behaviour which falls into a grey area between friendly interaction and infidelity. Previously, a suspicious spouse had to catch a cheating husband in bed with another woman; now she has to peer into his online world.
“Examples of micro-cheating include checking the social media accounts of former partners or sending emoji such as hearts and flowers”
Examples of micro-cheating include checking the social media accounts of former partners; sending emoji such as hearts and flowers to people other than partners; and saving mobile phone contact details of a friend of the opposite sex under a false name.
In short showing a high level of “digital” interest in someone outside the existing relationship can constitute micro-cheating. “It can be something as simple as repeatedly ‘liking’ someone’s posts on Instagram or commenting on someone’s Facebook,” said Graff a reader in psychology at the University of South Wales and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society.
“So much of human relationships has moved online,” said Graff, meaning couples now have to make decisions about what is acceptable online that they didn’t have to make 10 years ago. He said “Is sending a heart in a Facebook message being unfaithful? Or is it micro-cheating?”
Other actions that can be considered micro-cheating include frequently checking someone’s Instagram, messaging someone without your partner’s knowledge, adding a former lover on the messaging site Snapchat, or tagging someone in a post as part of an inside joke. “Secrecy or covert communications are often, but not always, a sign of micro-cheating,” said Graff, adding: “In terms of the history of human communication and relationships this is all brand new. Social media interactions have an inherent ambiguity. Studies clearly show that the increased usage of social media has been accompanied by an increase in real life arguments and negative consequences for couples as a result of actions on social media.”
A 2015 survey published in the journal Cyberpsychology found various online actions including receiving pictures via Facebook and sending private messages on Snapchat stoked jealousy.
A study published by Monica Whitty, another British cyber-psychologist, found that sharing emotional and intimate information with another person online elicited higher ratings for judgments of infidelity than viewing pornography.
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Critics of the term micro-cheating say that the concept encourages controlling behaviour and the surveillance of online communications.
“It has never been so easy to monitor your partner’s behaviour as it is today,” said Graff. “There is so much information online on sites like Facebook and Instagram and it takes little effort to delve into these sites.”
Melanie Schilling, an Australian psychologist, told The Huffington Post: “Allowing micro-cheating to continue can set up a relationship pattern that undermines you and enables your partner to have their cake and eat it too.”
As published from: http://theprovince.com/news/world/is-sending-a-heart-in-a-facebook-message-being-unfaithful-or-is-it-micro-cheating/wcm/5b6431a0-fece-470b-a701-070f1d75f107