Is Sharing Secret Passwords a Sign of Trust?

The New York Times reports today on the naughtiest thing that teenagers in love are doing behind closed doors: swapping passwords for their Facebook and email accounts.

It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts.

They say they know such digital entanglements are risky, because a souring relationship can lead to people using online secrets against each other. But that, they say, is part of what makes the symbolism of the shared password so powerful.

“It’s a sign of trust,” Tiffany Carandang, a high school senior in San Francisco, said of the decision she and her boyfriend made several months ago to share passwords for e-mail and Facebook. “I have nothing to hide from him, and he has nothing to hide from me.”

In a recent study, Pew found that 1 in 3 teens surveyed share passwords with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend. The Times explores some of the obvious downsides to this, including obsessive scouring of a significant other’s account for signs of infidelity and using the access for sabotage when a relationship goes sour. One expert they talked to compared the pressure to exchange passwords to the pressure to have sex. Have fun with the latter, kids, but I urge you to consider digital abstinence. Here’s why…

There is something pure and romantic about the idea of sharing everything, and having no secrets from one another. But it’s romantic the same way that Romeo and Juliet is romantic, in a tragic, horrible, everyone-is-miserable-and-dies-at-the-end kind of way.

Email is one of the few private spaces left in this hyper-sharing age. Sam Biddle at Gizmodo says, “This isn’t about having something to hide—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 Couples Status Updates Look Like This

We’ve all seen couples who flood our timelines with photos of themselves on vacation, out to dinner, walking around, at home, doing nothing….you get the drift.

A few aren’t an issue, but when it gets obsessive, there may be a psychological reason at play, and this Science of Us video explains why.

You’ve probably seen these types — the ones who change their avatars to a photo of the two of them, who seem to post another saccharine photo update or Instagram video every single day, and you’ve probably been annoyed more than once by them. Here’s the kicker though: It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Researchers point out that this behaviour is related to what’s called Relationship-Contingent Self Esteem (RCSE). It’s often tied to lower individual self-esteem in general, and, as the video notes, can be more common in people who have difficulty outwardly expressing their feelings to people offline, or people who have higher social anxiety in general. It’s also more common among introverts, who may be less inclined to share their lives in person.

Of course, those things may sound bad, but in reality, all of those status updates may still just be a way for those people to share their lives with the people who matter to them the most, and to reaffirm their happiness with their partner. So yes, they may actually be that happy, and this may just be their own kind of therapy.

So while it may be a little annoying, you always have the freedom to unfollow or hide their updates, and of course, keep in mind that even if it’s clutter in your Twitter feed or Facebook stream, try to be happy that they’re happy, and scroll on by.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Facebook Can Tell When You’re In a Relationship

One thing Facebook can tell… is when a user starts a relationship.

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

It’s no secret that Facebook knows everything about its users at this point. The social network knows your favorite movies and TV shows, where you’ve worked, and what you read. Of course, this is all information users manually input. But Facebook can also glean information from a user’s patterns of how they use the site. One thing Facebook can tell from this is when a user starts a relationship.

In 2014, Facebook’s data scientists noticed something interesting: When a couple enters the courtship period, timeline posts increase (presumably both for interaction purposes, and so the other party can see how awesome/funny/interesting, etc. the first person is).

For the visual learners, here’s a chart to illustrate this:

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Once two people are firmly “in a relationship” (as defined by posting an anniversary date), the number of posts decrease, but the tone of said posts becomes happier overall. This probably points to the fact that the couple are spending more time together in person and have no need to post on each other’s walls.

Here’s what that looks like:

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

According to Facebook Data Scientist Carlos Diuk, here’s how the data science behind the study breaks down:

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts (“day 0”), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.

Facebook’s parameters for this study were users who had “Single” as their relationship status 100 days before changing it to “In a Relationship,” and who were in a relationship 85 days after their posted anniversary date. Anniversary dates used were between April 11, 2010 and October 21, 2013.

In other words, Facebook can tell when you’re…Facebook official.