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Previous research finds that…

In a 2011 survey conducted by Relationships Australia Victoria, commonly cited relationship issues relating to the negative impacts of digital communication tools included[1]:

  • use of internet pornography, cybersex and online dating and gambling sites;
  • partners resorting to the use of secret SIM cards and email addresses to maintain infidelities;
  • online stalking, checking and monitoring of partners’ emails and messages;
  • hacking into ex-partners’ Facebook accounts; and
  • use of the internet and technology to the exclusion of one’s partner.

Results from the practitioner survey revealed:

  • 80% of respondents had counselled clients who had raised concerns about the impact of Facebook on their relationships;
  • 72% had encountered concerns about email; and
  • 50% had encountered concerns about mobile internet devices, blogs and forums.

In another study, one in five clients in mental health treatment were accessing help due to the damaging influence of internet sexual activities (Mitchell et al. 2005).

[1] For a discussion of the survey see:  Child, Family, Community Australian. Social media and relationships. (May 2012) <>

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites