Sharing Passwords — 21st Century Intimacy

computer-locked-sharing-passwordsTeenagers and college students aren’t just engaging in risky sexual behavior anymore — many teens and young adults are engaging in risky password behavior…

Do you love me? Do you trust me?

Today, couples are answering these questions with the sharing of passwords for online accounts like email, Facebook, etc.

According to an article in the NY Times, “Young, in Love and Sharing Everything, Including a Password:”

“In a 2011 telephone survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 30 percent of teenagers who were regularly online had shared a password with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend. The survey, of 770 teenagers aged 12 to 17, found that girls were almost twice as likely as boys to share.”

The NY Times article also quotes Rosalind Wiseman, author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” a book for parents about helping girls survive adolescence. Ms. Wiseman said that sharing passwords, “…feels forbidden because it is generally discouraged by adults and involves vulnerability. And there is pressure in many teenage relationships to share passwords, just as there is to have sex.”

Ms. Wisemen explained, “The response is the same: if we’re in a relationship, you have to give me anything.”

While this is an important alert to parents of teens to have the “password talk” with their pre-teens and teens, it isn’t an issue only for young adults.

Regardless of age, every relationship faces the “password” issue. What passwords should we share with our significant others, if any?

Gizmodo has a humorous but helpful look on when and what passwords you should divulge in a relationship, that might help you fine tune your own guidelines. (Or maybe just make you laugh.)

No one wants to feel like their mate is hiding things from them. No one wants to feel like they can’t trust their partner.

But is sharing passwords the digital intimacy yard stick that measures the level of trust in a relationship? Should people feel pressured to hand over their passwords in the name of trust?

Personally, I think NOT handing over your email and Facebook password is the sign of a trusting relationship. (And then again, it could also be because there is trouble in those accounts!)

What passwords do you share with your significant other? What do you tell your children about password swapping? Is it a sign of trust and accountability or just a really bad idea?

Read more of Janice’s posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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