THE Petraeus drama reflects the enticements and betrayals of our new, disembodied modes of discourse. The come-ons, the flirtations, the stalking, the alleged harassment: all were abetted by the deceptive cloak of cyberspace, and all were immortalized there. It’s a story of people not just behaving badly but e-mailing badly as well. Has that now become a distinction without a difference? Have the lines entirely blurred? [emphasis added]Back in the era of a Jane Austen novel, a suitor put pen to paper, his pace slow, his pauses frequent and the reply — itself written in longhand — probably weeks away. Romance had a rhythm that accommodated reconsideration. It had a built-in cooling-off period.... [emphasis added]And you did it because that glowing and treacherous screen in front of you is somehow the greenest light of all, persuading you that you’re alone with your malice, your mischief, your game of pretend. After all, how could a communion so faceless prompt a brutal unmasking?
Bruni, Frank. "Our Hard Drives, Ourselves." The New York Times. 17 Nov. 2012.