The Other McCain

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Study: The Internet Has Made It Harder to Ditch Your Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Posted on | May 3, 2020 | Comments Off on Study: The Internet Has Made It Harder to Ditch Your Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Glenn Reynolds highlights a study from Florida Atlantic University:

Defined as using technology to repeatedly harass a love interest, partner, or crush in order to coerce, control, intimidate, threaten, or just plain old annoy, digital dating abuse has developed into a disturbingly common phenomenon. The research team analyzed over 2,200 U.S. middle and high school students, and 28.1% admitted they had been subjected to a form of online dating abuse over the past year.
Perhaps surprisingly, the study also noted that boys (32.3%) appear to be experiencing this type of abuse more often than girls (23.6%).

This finding would seem to contradict what feminists say about abuse generally being something that males inflict on females, but of course, women often don’t recognize their own abusive behavior as abusive. Rollo Tomassi has talked about solipsistic tendencies among women, their inability to view any situation objectively, instead making everything about me! me! me! I don’t wish to generalize too broadly, but I have noticed that women tend to regard their emotions — their personal likes and dislikes, their hurt feelings — as if they were a concrete reality.

Any man who wishes to succeed in relationships with women has to learn to negotiate this typical aspect of the female personality. Boys are raised (or perhaps I should say, boys were once raised) to disregard or restrain our emotions, to shrug off pain, never to pout over disappointment, and thus often find it difficult to cope with female irrationality.

The Internet, smart phones, social media and dating apps have added a new aspect to this problem. Ask any young man today what it’s like when a girl starts “blowing up your phone” with messages to which she expects answers. A guy may be busy doing something — work, school, whatever — and if he does not immediately respond to his girlfriend’s messages, she attributes malign motives to his non-answers: “Why are you ignoring me?” He hasn’t done anything wrong, but try telling her that.

Let us stipulate (and the FAU study shows) that guys also engage in “digital dating abuse,” but apparently women are more likely to do it. And the influence of digital technology has made it more difficult to escape abusive relationships. Your crazy ex-girlfriend can stalk your social-media profile, harass anyone you’re dating, etc. Perhaps worst of all, whether you are male or female, your dating history creates a digital permanent record that may be difficult, if not impossible, to erase. Your past can come back to haunt you in ways that may surprise you. Today’s teenage boy who harbors any ambition toward public life must be extraordinarily careful in his romantic encounters, lest in 20 or 25 years — when he’s running for Congress, perhaps — some crazy ex-girlfriend pops up online to accuse him of rape. Such is the price of “progress.”



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