How Common Is Electronic Dating Violence?

Teenage girl listening to MP3 player while using laptop computer in bed

You often hear about online dating, tips, trends and the like all the time. And, we’re even familiar with some downsides, like online stalking, harassment.

However, if you take it one step further, how often do we hear about other types of relationship negatives online — like, say, “electronic dating violence”?

Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar with the lingo nor the trend. However, according to a story I stumbled upon recently, have become acutely aware of the fact that it happens more often than we think….
According to a study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, posted on MSNBC’s Technolog,  one in 20 boys ages 11 to 18 admits to having shared an embarrassing picture of their romantic partner online. While it sounds like silly childhood pranks (and may not sound like a huge number), is it really unreasonable to expect that a similar thing doesn’t happen among adult online users? (I have to say that I was surprised that the number wasn’t much larger)

Well, let’s think about that. These days, it’s easy to share exactly what you’re feeling, simply by posting to Facebook or Twitter. I have tons of very adult friends that don’t miss a beat in letting friends know when they’re stuck in traffic, realized they were allergic to something or any other random thing. Sometimes, those are cute and fun, regardless of age.

But just as easy as it is to get the word out on things like what you’re having for lunch, it’s easy to say things that can hurt someone pretty deep, too. I remember a little while back when a pair of friends broke up after years of being together. And, being friends with both of them, I saw both sides posting things that were directly meant to get at the other person, such as snide remarks or angry/insulting songs that they knew would get to the other.

Basically what it came down to
: While there was no actual violence involved, posting their feelings or mean things on their social media pages still managed to hurt, offend or even expose the other person — anything they could do to make sure a pinch was felt each time.

Is it natural to want to get even with someone? Sure. But looking at a study like this one, it’s disappointing that these days, teens — and even adults, for that matter — are learning how to taking advantage of the great technology we have to hurt.

Have to admit: I’m a total Facebook and Twitter lover and in awe of new technology and what it can do. But even dealing with your pain in the social media space has its limits if its going hurt someone else, too.

Have you ever used the internet or social media channels to hurt someone? Has someone ever tried to hurt you that way?

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