Is it OK to Cyber-Snoop?
Back by popular demand! You guys loved this article on whether or not it’s OK to e-snoop.
You’re out for drinks with your boyfriend. He excuses himself to go to the men’s room, leaving his iPhone on the table. Suddenly, it buzzes alive with a text message, just like it’s been doing every night this week. Should you “innocently” pick it up and find out who the hell keeps lighting up your man? Or should you let sleeping phones lie?
Last year, a study by Virgin Mobile Australia found that one-third of cell phone users admitted to text message snooping. And most of those sneaking a peek at their partner’s phones were women, according to the survey.
It’s hard to resist the temptation of snooping through our significant other’s texts, emails, digital pics and Facebook messages. These days we leave a trail of e-crumbs behind our every step – and our every sin. Like it or loathe it, this all makes e-snooping easier than ever.
But when – if ever – is cyber-snooping OK?
Dave, 38, an L.A.-based writer and director, cheekily explains the rules this way:
“According to the Freedom of Information Act, Paragraph 2, Clause 6.3: A person is entitled to the information contained within and transmitted by the communication devices of the person they are dating if and only if said person is asleep, in the bathroom or forgot the thing at your house. All other instances of snooping are wrong, immoral and scandalous without written permission and punishable by noogies, wedgies and wet willies.”
Greg, a 31-year-old guy from the Midwest, sarcastically points out to BettyConfidential that snooping “isn’t any more wrong than stealing someone’s credit card or hitting on their best friend.”
Ouch. Clearly, men aren’t down with e-snooping. But if they’ve got nothing to hide, what’s the big deal?
Becky, a 29-year-old stay-at-home mom from Toronto, says the fact that her husband leaves his passwords lying around indicates he “wants me to look” at his email. She frequently scans his account for notes from unfamiliar females.
“If he gets overly friendly with a new colleague on email, I bring it up with him,” she says. “I’ve even asked him to cut contact with certain women.” However, she claims she really isn’t worried that her husband might be cheating. “Checking his email is like taking vitamins – it’s a preventative measure!”
Unfortunately, most cases of cyber snooping don’t have such a happy ending.