Cover image for Love online : emotions on the Internet
Love online : emotions on the Internet
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xii, 289 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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HQ801.A3 L68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Computers have changed not just the way we work but the way we love. Falling in and out of love, flirting, cheating, even having sex online have all become part of the modern way of living and loving. Yet we know very little about these new types of relationship. How is an online affair where the two people involved may never see or meet each other different from an affair in the real world? Does online sex still involve cheating on your partner? Why do people tell complete strangers their most intimate secrets? What are the rules of engagement? Will online affairs change the monogamous nature of romantic relationships? These are just some of the questions Professor Aaron Ben Ze'ev, distinguished writer and scholar, addresses in the first full length study of love online. Accessible, shocking, entertaining, enlightening, this book will change the way you look at cyberspace and love forever. Aaron Ben Ze'ev is a Professor at the Univeristy of Haifa in the Philosophy Department and has been the Rector of the University since 2000. He has published articles for many journals such as Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Philosophical Psychology, and Theory & Psychology among others. He has also had numerous books published including The Subtlety of Emotions (MIT Press, 2000) and The Perceptual System: A Philosophical and Psychological Perspective (Peter Lang,1993), both of which have been translated into Hebrew.

Author Notes

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev is Rector of the University of Haifa and Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Emotions at the University of Haifa.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
1 The seductive spacep. 1
The interactive revolution in imaginationp. 1
Cyberlove and cybersexp. 4
Letter, telegraph, and telephonep. 7
Mobile textingp. 14
The egalitarian spacep. 16
The lure of the Netp. 18
The risky spacep. 20
Summaryp. 23
2 The paradoxical nature of online relationshipsp. 26
Detached attachmentp. 26
Distance and immediacyp. 27
Lean and rich communicationp. 30
Anonymity and self-disclosurep. 34
Sincerity and deceptionp. 42
Continuity and discontinuityp. 46
Physical and mental investmentp. 49
Distant relationshipsp. 51
Summaryp. 55
3 Emotions on the Netp. 58
The typical cause of emotion: A perceived significant changep. 58
The typical emotional concern: A comparative personal concernp. 60
Typical characteristics and componentsp. 63
Emotional intensityp. 66
Emotions and intelligencep. 70
Netiquettep. 73
Summaryp. 76
4 Online imaginationp. 78
Emotions and imaginationp. 78
The reality of online imaginationp. 80
Exciting informationp. 83
The reality of romantic and sexual imaginationp. 86
Dangers of online imaginationp. 88
Regret and online affairsp. 91
Summaryp. 93
5 Online privacy and emotional closenessp. 95
Privacy: Initial distinctionsp. 96
Types of privacyp. 97
Privacy, emotional closeness, and opennessp. 100
Online closenessp. 102
Online opennessp. 106
Emotional pretense and sexual harassmentp. 108
The transparent societyp. 111
Shame in cyberspacep. 114
Summaryp. 118
6 Is it worth it?p. 120
Extrinsically and intrinsically valuable activitiesp. 120
Love and sexp. 123
Happinessp. 126
Types of online intimate activitiesp. 129
Types of activities involved in cybersexp. 131
The incomplete nature of online affairsp. 133
Summaryp. 143
7 Flirting on- offlinep. 145
Online conversationsp. 145
Online affairs as flirtingp. 149
The rules for online datingp. 152
The formation of online affairsp. 155
Summaryp. 159
8 Cyberlovep. 160
Attractiveness and praiseworthinessp. 160
Seeing with your heartp. 166
Online attractionp. 169
Love at first chatp. 175
Availability and effortp. 177
The exclusivity of cyberlovep. 181
Online intimacy and commitmentp. 188
Online rejectionp. 192
Gender differencesp. 193
Summaryp. 197
9 Chatting is sometimes cheatingp. 199
The morality of imaginationp. 199
Chatting about sexp. 202
Casual sex, adultery, and infidelityp. 205
The morality of online affairsp. 208
Cybersex with softwarep. 216
The risks and prospects of online affairsp. 217
Summaryp. 221
10 The future of romantic relationshipsp. 223
Stability and change in romantic relationshipsp. 223
The marriage paradoxp. 227
Proclaimed monogamy with clandestine adulteryp. 230
Cohabitation and online affairsp. 232
Whetting your appetite outside while eating at homep. 236
Greater romantic flexibilityp. 242
Concluding remarksp. 246
Notesp. 249
Bibliographyp. 264
Indexp. 275