What Counts As Cheating? Digital Age Has Created A Gray Area, Study Reveals

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–When you’re in a committed relationship, most agree cheating is wrong. But, has our view of betrayal shifted?

“There’s the physical cheating and the emotional cheating,” said Abby Stern of Graduate Hospital.

“Desiring anything, anyone other than the person you’re with,” added Brian Lamsback of Ardmore.

“If that action wouldn’t be taken in front of me, you know it’s wrong,” said Theodore Thompson of Center City.

A new study, commissioned by Deseret News and conducted by YouGov, found the digital age has created somewhat of a gray area.

“It’s not as clear. If someone cheats, it’s not purely physical,” said Lamsback.

“Oh, it was just a Facebook post, Instagram like. People have more excuses as to why they might be communicating with someone,” suggested Sterner.

While three out of four respondents considered kissing or having sex cheating and 73% said one night stands were absolutely wrong.

“Those 25%… I can bet you, they’re the ones doing the cheating,” said Sterner.

The survey revealed Americans are just about split when it comes to sending flirtatious messages.

“I wouldn’t consider it cheating, but it’s a gateway to cheating,” said Sterner.

“It’s the marijuana of cheating,” joked Jamie Block of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Only 16% said following an ex on social media was deceitful, but nearly 45% of men thought it was okay to keep an online dating profile active, when in a relationship. Compare that to just 30% of women.

So, what’s the take away?

Experts say it’s best to consider the information you’re exchanging with someone online. And if you wouldn’t show your partner a screen shot of your conversation, you may want to reconsider what you’re saying.

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