Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrist – all the popular social media network sites – have added a whole new dimension to cheating on your significant other.  When does innocent sexually-laced banter with a Facebook friend cross the line of propriety?

The subject of a research project a team from Texas Tech University led by Jaclyn Cravens, a PhD candidate now lecturing in Nevada, is Facebook Infidelity. 

In the era of Anthony Weiner sexting scandals, it’s pretty relevant.

“During my masters program for Marriage & Family Therapy, when I started seeing clients I realized pretty quickly that I had three couples that all were coming in for different presenting problems but as we were talking in therapy Facebook kept coming up, with one partner being mad that the pther partner would get on their account and read messages, or one partner being upset because they were finding inappropriate messages.  So I started looking into the research and found there wasn’t much,” Cravens told KTRH News. 

What she found was that cheating pretty much cheating.  It often involves dishonesty, lies, fights, and hurt feelings.  Not too much different than cheating in person.

Cravens and her research team have worked out what she calls a “process model” that moves through different stages of the ways people deal with the information.  And she says the root causes of infidelity tend to be the same, whether conducted online or face-to-face.