Perils of "chexting" hit spotlight with Tiger Woods, Jesse James

Thu Apr 1, 2010 3:25pm EDT
 
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - You might like texting, frown upon sexting, but now comes "chexting" -- and it can lead to big trouble. Just ask Tiger Woods and Jesse James.

Golf superstar Woods and TV celebrity James, who is married to Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock, have seen their lives unravel amid revelations of cheating on their spouses, in part by arranging liaisons via text messages.

Their affairs have spawned a new word in pop culture, chexting, and raised the question of whether it really is cheating on a spouse. The experts say, you bet it is.

"It's lipstick on the cellular -- digital proof that becomes evidence you've been unfaithful," says Peter Dedman of Predicto Mobile, the largest paid mobile community in America.

In today's digital age, where cell phones come equipped with their own typing keyboards separate from the number pads, texting has become more popular than e-mailing for some, and sending a text from a small phone can be done almost anywhere.

It is instant gratification and contact, but for those who have a hard time staying faithful, texting has become medium to facilitate their cheating.

Los Angeles family law attorney Stacy D. Phillips says she's seeing more and more divorce cases involving spouses being unfaithful through technology -- including Internet chat rooms, instant messages and texts.

Part of the allure, she says, is that the "chext" is not finished when both parties stop sending messages.   Continued...

 
<p>Tiger Woods pauses while delivering a statement to friends and family in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, February 19, 2010. REUTERS/Lori Moffett/Pool</p>