Cybering is online cheating. In terms of infidelity, there are two ways to cheat: emotionally and sexually. The online version of infidelity works the same way through an act known as cybering, which comes in two forms.
Cybering – Two Types
There are two types of cybering: cybersex and hot chatting. Cybersex is when two Internet users discuss and act out sexual fantasies through chat. Those engaging in cybersex tend to combine masturbation and online chatting into a technological form of self-pleasure. The other form of cybering is hot chatting. Hot chatting is less sexual than cybersex, but includes erotic or sexually suggestive flirting.
Regardless of which type one is engaging themself in, cybering is usually a form of cheating. The reason for this is that cybering is usually engaged in by those who are already in relationships. People tend not to undertake cybering with a partner that can be physically present, instead meeting strangers online to do so. In this sense, cybering is inherently different from pornography — most people do not consider viewing pornography a form of cheating.
Cybering can be threatening to relationships, despite the fact that there is no physical contact between the actors. Couples in committed relationships emphasize sexual and emotional exclusivity. Any sexual or intimate actions that occur outside of a relationship can therefore be considered cheating. Both cybersex and hot chatting not only indicate a desire for a person outside of the committed relationship but also indicate that the partner cybering is willing to act on those desires.
Cybering – A Form of Internet Addiction Disorder
As any frequent Internet user knows, the Internet provides many methods for meeting new people and starting new relationships. There are not only traditional dating sites, instant messaging programs, and online social networks that users can use to meet others online, but sites created specifically for cybering and establishing affairs. This, in combination with the natural human urge to be consistently evaluating others as potential mates, can lead to an addiction to cybersex or hot chatting.
Statistics show that approximately 30 million Americans engage in cybering, with 1/6 of them cybering for more than 10 hours per week. Such statistics are not surprising when you factor in the fact that online infidelity is merely a mixture of Internet Addiction Disorder and sex addiction, both of which lead to the release of large amounts of dopamine in the brain. Repeated cybering can lead to an addiction that may be more severe than Internet Addiction Disorder or sex addiction alone.
With most of the Internet being dedicated to sexuality and networking, cybering should prove to be a growing and severe problem in the field of Internet Addiction Disorder.
In this sense, cybering is not only dangerous to the actors’ relationships, but also to the actors themselves.