Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sharing passwords with your partner.

Is sharing, caring?

This conversation was brought up at dinner last week, which I thought was funny because I had started writing about it even before then, after a talk with my friend Lynden (I promise she's not my only friend). We had been discussing all things shared with a partner: home life, love life, social (media) life, etc., and passwords came up. So should you, or should you not share your password with your significant other?

As a general rule of thumb, I'd say no. Don't do it.

For those of you Ms. (or Mr.) Independent's like myself ("throw your hands up at me!"), it's about owning and enjoying the bits of privacy we have left, which is not much these days. And no, it's not because there is anything to hide (from what has not already been broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Intagram, etc.); let's keep it simple--it belongs to you, and is protecting a safe haven of messages that are specifically intended for you being the recipient.

For those of you who are in a relationship and share passwords as an intimate sign of trust, I beg you to reconsider. I mean, have the ideas of romanticism been diminished to the point where we are exchanging passwords instead of "I love you's?" Accepting a password as a term of affection these days is simply not acceptable. You need to also remember the more access you have to something, the more, well, access you have to it. If you know you'll be scouring through messages, photos, etc., you may not always like what you find...

I found a fantastic article that outlined if and when to give passwords, which I summarized, below:

Yes, absolutely. If you're embarrassed by your taste in movies and TV, your relationship is screwed anyway.

No, never—it's about keeping meaningful boundaries in an era when there are verrrrry few. We all need whatever scraps of privacy we have left, and your email is just that. Why would anyone ever need your email password, anyway?
See above... and should things go south, you don't want a rogue account on your hands.

Again, nobody should be asking for this to begin with, unless they're performing a social psychology experiment that involves impersonating you.  (HA!)

"Hey, what's your password, I want to find this article." There are an infinite number of innocuous reasons why your S.O. will want to use your phone, whatever—it's harmless, and saying no sounds paranoid and standoffish. You'll have to trust him/her not to go through your inbox and texts, and they'll have to trust you not to have any incriminating texts and d*ck shots in your photo gallery.

See above. Your laptop will be lying around, and if your sexlovefriend is hanging out at your place, that becomes the computer. They might want to check their mail, read an internet blog, or...one of the other trillion things you can do with a computer...Again, this is a mutual test of trust.. and a sign that you can rely on the other not to go Bradley Manning on your stuff when you aren't looking. Oh, and don't look—giving your laptop password and then staring over their shoulder is probably worse than not giving it at all.What do you think about shared passwords?


  1. Hahah made me lol on that one! As for the article, I think that if you need your partners email, fb, aim or free access to any other personal acct of theirs, there is a lot more to discuss than just a pw!