Is sharing your password with a boyfriend or girlfriend an expression of devotion or something you might later regret or both? The New York Times published this story about teenagers who share their passwords as a sign of trust. They reported that according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, "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."
With teenagers growing up living so much of their social lives online, it's easy to see how this digital act of sharing a password can take on a deeper emotional meaning. That said, couples break up, sometimes badly, as do friendships. And the article does include a few cautionary tales of password sharing gone bad, resulting in cyberbullying or spying. It makes the case that the more adults tell teenagers not do to it, the more teenagers feel like it's something they want to do.
What do you think about sharing online passwords? Have you done it before? Do you regret it or would you do it again? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Also, check out our related fact sheets about assessing your relationship (before you do anything as trusting as sharing a password!), cyberbullying and how to survive an embarrassing event just in case you shared, and it went badly!
Photo by DLSimaging