Why Sharing Your Password With Your Girlfriend Is a Bad Thing
Young people have made it trendy to show their love for one another by sharing their e-mail, Facebook, and other account passwords. Boyfriends and girlfriends have been known to share passwords and read each other's private e-mails and messages.
They claim to be aware that such digital relationships are dangerous since a deteriorating connection may lead to individuals utilizing online secrets against one another. However, they claim that this is part of what makes the shared password's symbolism so strong.
Tiffany Carandini, a San Francisco high school senior, described the choice she and her boyfriend took some months ago to exchange e-mail and Facebook passwords as “a show of trust.” “I don't have anything to conceal from him, and he doesn't have anything to hide from me,” she says.
via Teenagers Show Affection by Sharing Passwords – NYTimes.com
According to a recent Pew research, one out of every three adolescents questioned shares their passwords with a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend. The New York Times looks at some of the apparent drawbacks, such as obsessively searching a significant other's account for indications of infidelity and utilizing the access for sabotage when a relationship falls apart. According to one expert they spoke with, the urge to share passwords is comparable to the compulsion to have sex. Enjoy the latter, but I strongly advise you to explore digital abstinence. This is why…
The notion of sharing everything and keeping no secrets from one another is both pure and romantic. But it's romantic in the same sense that Romeo and Juliet is romantic, in a sad, terrible, everyone's unhappy, and everyone dies in the end sort of manner.
In this era of hyper-sharing, email is one of the few remaining private places. Gizmodo's Sam Biddle explains, “This isn't about hiding anything; it's about maintaining real limits in a world when there aren't many. We all need whatever privacy we can get our hands on, and your email is one of them.”
This isn't trust. Trust is an essential foundation for every relationship, but this isn't it. This is the mutually guaranteed annihilation of confidence. Intimacy comes from sharing a little amount of personal information with others rather than handing over the keys to your privacy kingdom.
When you disclose your password with another person, you expose yourself to the apparent risks mentioned by the New York Times. But you're not just invading your own privacy; you're also invading the privacy of everyone with whom you communicate. People send you emails thinking you're the only one who will view them. They understand that there's a chance you'll tell your significant other, friends, relatives, or a random stranger on the bus, but they assume you don't have anybody else reading your email.
I can talk from personal experience.
I used to be in a relationship where my then-boyfriend and I knew each other's email passwords. It nearly occurred by chance. At home, we shared a computer, and if the other person was using it, we would ask them to sign in and check our email for any new messages. This was back when I had a PS (pre-smartphone) phone.
It wasn't good for you. When you have access to a significant other's account, curiosity is a terrible feeling. When things became tough, I became hooked to seeing how he described our deteriorating relationship to others. I finally had to ask him to change his password, which he first refused to do since he saw it as a last nail in the relationship's death, but I persisted because I couldn't stop myself from looking.
More information isn't always reassuring. Having more knowledge may sometimes offer you additional things to be concerned about. In 2009 research, it was discovered that just being Facebook friends (without exchanging passwords) had this impact on couples. Having a list of all of their friends, who was posting on their wall, and who had been in their pictures just helped to fuel their jealousy.
We now have unprecedented access to information about other individuals. We can look at their social media profiles, see where they are on Foursquare, read what others have written about them through a Google search, and view pictures from their whole life on Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook. Parents use monitoring software on their children's computers and phones to keep track of where they are, who they are talking to, and what websites they visit. I'm beginning to worry whether we're getting hooked to spying on one another as a culture. The availability of so much knowledge seems to be fueling our need for more. We're kind of like the Cookie Monsters of personal data.
We may draw a few boundaries to prevent ourselves from being fully immersed in a Little Brother culture. One of the most essential things to keep your email and social networking account passwords to yourself.
To put it another way, youngsters (and adults) should never share their passwords! Love means never having to apologize for reading all of your significant other's correspondence from their previous relationship.