Online love & infidelity. We're in the game, what are the rules? | Michelle Drouin | TEDxNaperville

  • Published: 27 January 2016
  • Have you found love, sex, or intimacy online? Millions of us have—and we are constantly building and maintaining connections with friends, relationship partners, and lovers through the intricate paths of the world wide web. But how is this all affecting romantic relationships? And what rules should we have with our partners about online behaviors?

    A developmental psychologist, Dr. Michelle Drouin studies the effects of technology on literacy, communication, and relationships. She also studies the roles of technology in teaching and learning. Dr. Drouin’s research on sexting and mobile phone addiction has attracted international attention, and she regularly does interviews for television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Her research has been cited in a number of prominent news sources including CNN, NPR, MSNBC, CBS News, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Reuters, Men’s Health, Parenting Magazine, and Psychology Today.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 190

  • heather townley
    heather townley  1 days back


    • R3V3NG3
      R3V3NG3  2 weeks back

      I found love from internet, we are both introverts, abused as kids before and we related to each other. Without internet i would have never met him. We met in discord community server. We have so much love for each other.

      • _Sadlex_
        _Sadlex_  4 weeks back

        I tried online dating for a while. It is the same as real life dating:


        • DJ-TRAXX
          DJ-TRAXX  1 months back

          Very, very interesting and very, very relative.

          • John Doe
            John Doe  1 months back

            maybe it's time to cast aside the fidelity concept...if it's clearly against our desires...

            • Trevor V
              Trevor V  1 months back

              Not "our" but against many. The ones who are truly monogamous like myself are pretty much better dead.

          • Nyet Nine
            Nyet Nine  1 months back

            Women have WAY more than 4 on the "back burner" and they're more guilty of this behavior than men. It breaks down like this: If they admit to 4 than it's probably 8 if they admit to 8 then it's probably 16 if they admit to 16 then it's probably 30 or more.

            • Nyet Nine
              Nyet Nine  1 months back

              Social media is societal cancer. I don't use social media and my phone doesn't have a lock code. I refuse to date anybody who doesn't do the same.

              • arachnipope
                arachnipope  1 months back

                Nyet Nine
                Cancer is a good word for social media.

            • Martin Mbonu
              Martin Mbonu  1 months back

              Everyone have just refused to admit that it's just natural for human beings to be attracted to others. We can set up as many rules as possible, blame the internet all we want, it's still true. If people get the chance, they will desire and be desired by others.

              • Achilleas Philippides
                Achilleas Philippides  1 months back

                Thats why women lie...

                • Snowfall
                  Snowfall  1 months back

                  Now that talk was an eye opener. Thanks a lot!

                  • Karima
                    Karima  1 months back

                    A very interesting and needed topic, I hope this will be discussed more often also on other media platforms and even in education. Thanks you did great!

                    • killa haze
                      killa haze  2 months back

                      Thia should be selling mating alternatives. Lmfao

                      • FacingFear29 Doeyou
                        FacingFear29 Doeyou  2 months back

                        Can’t believe I’m watching this...

                        • june brogan
                          june brogan  2 months back

                          As a relationship counsellor I am torn between thinking that each couple has to make their own rules. But perhaps someone needs to create a list of things to discuss.

                          • Patricia Bartosik
                            Patricia Bartosik  2 months back

                            I deactivated my FB page because it was too complicated and time consuming for me. I'm at greater peace now.

                            • TheJessmess24
                              TheJessmess24  2 months back

                              This is a super interesting topic to me. One thing she doesn't mention is how this issue is combined with addiction to social media and texting. The illusion of intimacy and emotional support is not worth it. "On the side" sexting or intimate texting relationships can be a cowardly cop out to the real work needed in a relationship. Your partner will feel it. Be there for your boo!

                              • Nothing Here
                                Nothing Here  2 months back

                                For my generation, social media is the best way to find someone you like, not just a classmate that you happen to know a little about, and with today’s judgment and high standards, it’s safer to stay behind a screen where we can speak our minds and express ourselves, reaching millions of others. We can get to know our world, not just our town or community, find new and interesting things we wouldn’t find sitting around, only being able to talk to those around us, who have the same view because of our limited vision. Social media is a curse and a blessing, and soon, online relationships will be normal and expected, and human interaction can definitely change, for better or for worse. What used to be normal, like meeting people in person, isn’t always the best way to go, especially in our ever-changing world.

                                • Silvia Hernandez
                                  Silvia Hernandez  2 months back

                                  I feel and think when you meet/know organicly meaning casually at the mall, store, restaurant and face to face ask for their names more emotions/investment its done probably more valued than someone met online cus u see what you see the person how it really is not the persona/image in a profile... i met this guy whos friends in fb are pretty much that a list of options or possibilities available for him... how do we want to be viewed, i dont think virtual intimacy its genuine nit all people are honest

                                  • D H
                                    D H  2 months back

                                    Ted Talks took a nosedive about a month after inception. Tiny audience.

                                    • victor arregnelle
                                      victor arregnelle  2 months back

                                      Solution: just find someone that has no cell phone, no computer, has no friends, doesn't go out, and chain them to the house. Or you can be realistic and know that romance is a fairly new idea of love, it cannot be perfect, will never have a solution, chances are you will fail, and is idiotic. Guess just enjoy romance for what it is, and make relationships a solid commitment about the children or opportunity. Meh.

                                      • --
                                        --  2 months back

                                        Does she want to deliver a speech or meet up for cocktails?!

                                        • RushKa
                                          RushKa  3 months back

                                          Michelle Drouin marries "famous hockey player..." Jonathon Drouin currently in the NHL. Are they related in any way?

                                          • MrPoe22
                                            MrPoe22  3 months back

                                            I predict this woman will be divorced within 5 years.

                                            • MrPoe22
                                              MrPoe22  3 months back

                                              Social media, dating sites and feminism have destroyed this country. Committed Relationships and families are rapidly going extinct.

                                              I suppose this is considered progress.
                                              What a fuckimg joke!!

                                              • RepsUp100
                                                RepsUp100  3 months back

                                                Amazing talk doctor, thank you.

                                                • Justin Boger
                                                  Justin Boger  3 months back

                                                  Great talk. I agree so much with the things she said. online dating has been such a good thing and a bad thing. Easier to get dates but much easier to not commit to anything also.

                                                  • Janine Robinson
                                                    Janine Robinson  3 months back

                                                    Amazing talk. There’s no definite evidence. You’re faced with two alternatives: seek out the facts, or to turn a blind eye. Selecting the first choice, although often suitable in the short term, is incredibly damaging for you personally, not only in the long run too. Seeking the truth out isn’t simple either – as we can see technology has made infidelity much easier to conceal than in the past, however it also provides opportunities for revealing getting the evidence needed to establish them & affairs. I hate cheaters, my fiance never gave me a reason to be suspicious until i found him and her colleague at a romantic restaurant. He told me it was work stuff but something wasn’t right. i was worried until i was introduced to an ethic hacker who hacked his device so i can find out the truth. He made it possible to track his movement and location. he hacked his facebook, aol email. Lets say i had no doubt he was cheating... If in need of help to access spouse phone, emails, SMS or Snapchat. email [email protected] Let him know I recommended him.

                                                • Chris M.R. Santos
                                                  Chris M.R. Santos  3 months back

                                                  im not a man im an endless wishing list to be fullfilled....NO WAY ! MGTOWN !!

                                                  • VidiSensiVici
                                                    VidiSensiVici  3 months back

                                                    We need to define the words, love and lust. Most people attract to each other because of having like kind energy, chemistry, and it is fun to be with them. And if true love exists, then we wish loyalty would be there, the ability to stay through All struggles and challenges of life. What is love? Love is giving or loving without expecting anything in return, an unconditional love to speak off. In short, it is harder to find true love. Perhaps, we need a Divine intervention, or the so-called Destiny. By the way, not all of us are destined to be parents. Therefore, it is fun to date, to socialize to see what life has for us in the journey.

                                                    • Kelleymobiledetail com
                                                      Kelleymobiledetail com  4 months back

                                                      I put my feelings on the line and she went for a kid 10 yr younger than her and left me

                                                      • OnwardSoldier
                                                        OnwardSoldier  4 months back

                                                        I had her for Psychology in my college class last year. She was great.

                                                        • sc4400
                                                          sc4400  4 months back

                                                          It's all about honor and dignity. Without those qualities, you're just a dog in heat. I'm on social media. I have no "back burners". I have people in my life who are looking at me for guidance. How am I going to expect good from my grand sons if I'm a dog?

                                                          • D'Anna C
                                                            D'Anna C  1 months back

                                                            sc4400 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

                                                        • Skating Mummy Emily-Kate Ice Skating

                                                          My husband who had been my rock had an online affair. They both talked about their individual partners families etc. it’s smashed my world apart. It’s the most horrendous feeling seeing your life discussed. Lied about and what not. It’s a nightmare

                                                          • D'Anna C
                                                            D'Anna C  1 months back

                                                            Skating Mummy Emily-Kate Ice Skating
                                                            I hope you read this.
                                                            Know that there are THOUSANDS of us that reject and push those kinds of people away. We don't want to have you betrayed, lied about, and listen to your partner twist and complain about you, your kids, your life.
                                                            We shut it down and tell them to get therapy with you. We take YOUR side and help them to see THEIR part and to take ownership for their stuff, not look for a confidant who, "understands them".
                                                            It's betrayal.
                                                            We're out here fighting for you, your marriage or partnership and we believe karma is a vicious equilibrator that should be respected and reminded of when they approach.

                                                            We know that if they do it to you, they will 100% do it to ANYONE. That's who THEY ARE to the core, not you.

                                                            May you be healed of your betrayal and find the path to love again.

                                                          • Nyet Nine
                                                            Nyet Nine  1 months back

                                                            People are only as loyal as their perceived options. Thanks to Social Media & Dating Apps those "options" seem endless. That is why we're in the situation that we're in.

                                                        • Hannah A. Gehrels
                                                          Hannah A. Gehrels  5 months back

                                                          Being cheated on (or betrayed) is such a horrible horrible experience. I will not marry again. And because it’s easy to fall in the trap of infidelity yourself—it’s better to cancel your social media accounts.

                                                          • Cydp Palley
                                                            Cydp Palley  5 months back


                                                            • ArtiFit
                                                              ArtiFit  5 months back

                                                              basically, one of the rules is "don't cheat!"

                                                              • Steve Judah
                                                                Steve Judah  3 months back

                                                                I think you might've missed the point. The problem isn't with that rule, it's that it's no longer clear what constitutes "cheating" given the nature of the online space.

                                                            • Tim Robinson
                                                              Tim Robinson  5 months back

                                                              Awesome video and SO true!!

                                                              • Casandra Moua
                                                                Casandra Moua  5 months back


                                                                • donald fewell
                                                                  donald fewell  6 months back

                                                                  I'm faithful and I respect that many people aren't faithful or emotionally invested in dating relationships.

                                                                  • 克拉克Zac
                                                                    克拉克Zac  6 months back

                                                                    It doesn't matter how you look at it. it is still cheating. Asian dating sites are bad, it's about money! scam.

                                                                    • Antonia Senz
                                                                      Antonia Senz  6 months back

                                                                      I like the emphasis on "navigating." It's so important to discuss these things before people feel like their boundaries have been violated.

                                                                      • music lover
                                                                        music lover  6 months back

                                                                        Good talk and insights

                                                                        • Mark Shelly
                                                                          Mark Shelly  7 months back

                                                                          Thank you, Michelle, for a really excellent and thought-provoking talk.

                                                                          • universalsheep
                                                                            universalsheep  7 months back

                                                                            come one..if the night is right ide sleep with any female on my facebook friends, thats why theyre there

                                                                            • A Plicqu
                                                                              A Plicqu  8 months back

                                                                              The matter isn't that people catfish or lie online. If you meet someone and invest the time (something like 60 hours to be someone's "friend" IRL) I don't see why a relationship won't aucceed. However, Grindr and Tinder aren't known as relationship sites. If you spend enough time with someone you meet online, you should be able to know them well enough. If those backburner people are only known online, they aren't real relationships. But that is true of anyone you have not invested time getting to know. Real relationsihps require being with someone regularly and in person. This is the issue of the online era. People think non RL relationships are equivalent to RL relationships. It's not true. And online relationships can drag on because they're fantasies fueled by hope, not reality.

                                                                              • Rohit Goswami
                                                                                Rohit Goswami  8 months back

                                                                                This is mahadevi yug women,s world

                                                                                • Rohit Goswami
                                                                                  Rohit Goswami  8 months back

                                                                                  Leave ted and you tube

                                                                                  • Rohit Goswami
                                                                                    Rohit Goswami  8 months back

                                                                                    Welcome take care and all of my sweet hearts take care and go back ur home and ur work ok all of my team members sorry I m ur dog ok don't waste ur time soon

                                                                                    • ssssaintmarcus
                                                                                      ssssaintmarcus  9 months back

                                                                                      Awwww look at the cute girl pitching hypergamy