Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship has probably considered doing some snooping. Whether it’s to peek at your partner’s emails over his shoulder, or taking casual glances at their text messages. You most likely have held back any true sleuthing, unless you had reason to suspect improprieties on his part. But most likely you have thought about it. Besides you tell yourself, what harm can it do?
According to a recent survey, there are many who not only think about it, but do it on a regular basis.
Avast, the popular anti-virus software company, conducted a survey where they asked 9,202 men and women in committed, long-term relationships whether or not they have secretly checked their partner’s smartphone. Nearly one in five men and one in four women confirmed that they had.
Of course, as with most things the motives for invading your partner’s privacy, varied by gender, but not by as much as you would think.
26% of men claimed that the number one reason that they snooped was because they suspected their partner of cheating on them. 24% claimed that they did it because they were simply nosy and curious. 12% of men claimed that they wanted to catch their partner in some sort of lie.
On the other hand, women were motivated more by their curiosity. 30% said that they snooped because they were nosey. Only 21% of them suspected their partner of cheating on them, and 14% wanted to catch their men in a lie.
So for many, at least in the survey, the risk was worth the knowledge they gained. 71% of women reported that they found evidence of cheating or lying. 53% of men said evidence was found after checking their partner’s cell phone.
Obtaining access to the phones wasn’t exactly hard either. Of those that checked their partner’s cell phone, 41% of women and 33% of men confirmed that their partners’ cellphones were not password protected.
Back to the question of “What harm can it do?”
1. It’s addictive
Checking someone’s phone is like scratching a rash. The more you scratch it, the more it spreads. The best policy is to never start scratching at all, or you’ll find yourself constantly looking for opportunities to check his cellphone.
2. It’s a lose – lose situation
Say you do find something that you have questions about, now you have the dilemma of how to satisfy your curiosity without revealing how you got the information. If you actually do find evidence that indicates wrongdoing, you have to decide whether to confront the person (and admit the fact that you did something unethical/illegal) or sit in silence while the knowledge eats away at you. If you find nothing, you’ll probably feel guilty that you breached your partner’s trust.
3. Trust goes both ways
If you feel that you can’t trust your partner and need to check his communication devices, realize that you are now also untrustworthy. If caught, your partner will no longer trust you, especially if the snooping was unwarranted.
4. Best to speak up
If you are having concerns, speak up! Communicate, rather than investigate. This approach is the best way to respect yourself, your partner and the relationship.
I will leave the final conclusion up to you to decide if the breach of privacy is worth it. Especially if you are snooping just out of curiosity. But one thing I think you can take away from this article is… people snoop, and without any provocation. So at least make it a little harder for them to do so by having a password protected cellphone. Even if you have nothing to hide.
– C. Sky