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I-Spy: Internet Infidelity

Internet Infidelity trailer image
Is it ever OK for someone in a relationship to flirt online? Our new five-part video drama looks for answers.




Recent research by CCIG members Andreas Vossler and Naomi Moller shows that relationship boundaries can be blurred online. This means that people may be uncertain over – or disagree on – what counts as cheating. In addition the research suggests that it may be easier to cross boundaries – to be unfaithful – online. Taken together, these two factors mean that the amount of time we spend online may make our relationships increasingly vulnerable.

One thing that can help is being clear about our boundaries. To encourage awareness and debate about where these might lie, ‘I-SPY’ explores the issue of internet-related infidelity through the experience of one couple. At the end of each episode, two questions then encourage viewers to think further about the issues explored or – if they are in a relationship – even to discuss these with their partner.



1/5: Rihanna installs spyware on the laptop she gives to her partner Oliver as a birthday present.

  • What do you think about Rihanna using spyware?

  • Is it ever OK to look at your partner’s private chats or messages?


2/5: Rihanna discovers Oliver’s flirting and talks to a friend about it while checking Minnie’s Facechat profile.

  • What do you think about Rihanna’s reaction to Oliver’s chat with Minnie?
  • Do you think it’s OK for someone in a relationship to flirt with other people?


3/5: Rhianna tries to find evidence for Oliver’s infidelity and they argue on his late return from the pub.

  • What do you think about the way Rihanna is trying to find out about Oliver’s online behaviour?
  • If you’re in a relationship is it OK to look for sexual excitement on the internet?


4/5: Oliver feels Rhianna has crossed a line and sets up a meeting with Minnie.

  • What do you think about Oliver deciding to meet Minnie after his ‘discovery’ about Rihanna?
  • Is it OK to develop a strong emotional relationship with someone who is not your partner?


5/5: Rhianna discovers Oliver’s plans and rushes to the hotel where she thinks he's meeting Minnie.

  • What do you think about the fact that Rihanna and Oliver aren’t talking to each other about their relationship?
  • What constitutes online infidelity for you? How about for your partner?


These podcasts first appeared on the OU's OpenLearn site, and we are grateful for their permission to repost them.

If you are experiencing emotional difficulty as a result of having personal experience of this topic, information and relationship counselling is available from Relate. You can also talk to your GP who can refer you to free NHS counselling.


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