Algė Šuliakaitė (Vytautas Magnus University)
This study explores Lithuanians’ attitudes and perceptions toward internet infidelity and investigates whether interpersonal and intrapersonal factors were associated with the attitudes toward online affairs. The researcher was unable to locate studies in Lithuania that made reference to internet infidelity. The study was exploratory in nature in order to draw public and researchers’ attention to the understudied internet infidelity phenomenon in Lithuania.
The participants for this study were recruited using a convenience sampling technique. A sample of 251 participants completed measures of attitudes toward Internet infidelity. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
The findings of this study indicated Lithuanians’ tendency to engage in different online behaviors. The exploration of the attitudes toward potentially unfaithful online activities suggested that Lithuanians consider internet infidelity to be a serious form of betrayal. The results showed that internet infidelity exists on a behavioral continuum where some online acts were considered more unfaithful than others based on the level of partners’ involvement in secretive online behaviors. Online behaviors that implied initiation of online relationships and engagement into intimate relationships were considered to be most unfaithful. Online acts that indicated superficial and non-intimate communication were considered as least unfaithful. Attitudes toward internet infidelity were related to several factors in this study, namely, gender, religiosity, and prior infidelity. The findings indicated that age and online relationship experiences were not related to the attitudes toward internet infidelity.