03/04/2013 10:32 am ET Updated May 04, 2013

Study: Polytechnologiae -- The Next Human Relationship Revolution?

Polytechnologiae (from the Greek poly, meaning "many" or "several" and Latin technologiae meaning "technology") is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one virtual relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent (albeit much to the confusion) of everyone involved, often in a cross-platform environment. It is distinct from both "mono-technologiae," which emphasizes surface-level relationships with one individual via one social network (i.e., Twitter or Facebook) or platform (iPhone or iPad) as merely recreational; and "poly-socialization," which is the cultivation of surface-level relationships with both genders via multiple social networks, mostly just for narcissistic purposes.

Polytechnologiae, often abbreviated as just "polytech," is frequently described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible" technologically enhanced non-commitment, with the outcomes varying from feelings of emptiness-slash-loneliness, to brief "fixes" of fake intimacy. The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to technology-driven relationships that have no actual intention of real-world application. Furthermore, there is extreme disagreement on how quickly this term has been adopted by "hipsters" and "freedom from responsibility" seekers in tech-friendly, urban environments across the globe.

Distinguishing polytechnologiae from traditional forms of technologically enhanced non-commitment methods (e.g., "sexting") is an ideology that openness, goodwill, truthful (and oft tawdry) communication with multiple parties across technology platforms, should trump any attempt at actual intimacy or obligation to real world relationships (let alone monogamous, physical relationships). However, an emphasis on relative principles, honesty, and transparency is regarded as the vital characteristic of polytechnologiae, and usage of SnapChat or Facebook's Poke is highly recommended for best (and safe) practices.

As of September 2012, it was estimated that 18.2 million polytechnologiae relationships existed in the U.S. alone. This does not include relationships with origins in the U.S. that are international in nature, as Skype would not publicly release key data for this study.