Dating someone 10, or even 15, years ago must have been easier than deciding on whom to take in your fantasy football draft with the number two pick. The reason why I touch on that comparison is because it has to do with making a big choice that can haunt you forever, just as the choice many of us are faced with today. I mean think about it: everything that currently complicates a healthy relationship with someone has been ushered in by technology. Wasn't technology supposed to make our lives easier?
I remember the days when technology was actually working in my favor. Wanted to have that new Dr. Dre song on a CD? Click on Napster. Want to start drama in your group of friends? Head to my Myspace top 8. Want to have a late night chat session with the first girl that wore a thong to class? There was nothing easier than using AIM and having to bear with my embarrassing screen name. We all grew up in a time that is unlike any other time, this generation is absolutely unique, as we were exposed to technology and we got to use it unlike anyone else before us.
Growing up, I recall my teachers prophesying that technology would make our lives easier, and after playing with the 2nd version of Internet Explorer and some Oregon Trail, we all foolishly believed the words of Mrs. Lipman. Yet, looking back at it now, it is actually making our lives more complicated -- and in one field especially: our love lives.
How hard has it become to find someone that is suitable enough for you to date? It is damn near impossible and when it is possible, it all dissolves into turmoil anyway and that is the simple fault of technology. Think about dating someone 15 years ago, you would mostly communicate with them in person, do things together, go on dates (like drive-in movies), and your lives and the personal information you would disclose would be solely based on what you want the other to know about you.
There was no Facebook for background checks and Google was brand new. Dating today has become a game of yellow pages; we all have a yellow page, whether it be by means of our social media or simply by Googling a name. We are a friend request and 7 scrolls away from seeing every ex-girlfriend or boyfriend our potential suitor has.
We are out there, our whole lives have been made available from the moment we joined Facebook. This is just the beginning of our issues with technology and dating, but the purpose of this article is not to discuss how social media platforms have led to the downfall of dating, but rather to pose the question: to snoop or not to snoop.
It has been over 20 years since the first text message has been sent and it read the simple message of "Merry Christmas," I can only wish that anytime a girl goes through my phone, my texts somehow all miraculously transform into that simple message. Our phones have become our own little black books; they have our photos, our text messages, iMessages, Snapchats, voicemails, e-mails, dick pics, vag pics and our Temple Run high scores (which should be taken into consideration, as hand-eye coordination has become a function of sex).
Simply put, our phones can destroy any good thing we have going and there is really nothing we can do about it. You can never expect snooping and if you ever seem like you are too prepared for snooping, then you will be accused anyway (I once had a friend who deleted every text he ever got). The big thing here is choice, it is our choice if we want to snoop through a partner’s phone or not and the issue is the fact that most of us will do it anyway, even though we know it's wrong and the outcome will be terrible.
We have become a society that wants to know, we yearn to know, and if we feel like we don't know something, it creates anxiety and a false perception of what is actually going on. Which is why we do some serious groundwork on the Facebook research to see what skeletons we dig up before engaging with a person.
Ask yourself this question and think really hard about it: when was the last time you have EVER heard anything good coming out of looking through a partner’s phone? Have you ever heard the words: " I looked through her phone and now I can sleep better at night" or "She’s clean as a whistle, I checked her phone." Absolutely never, the result of going through someone’s phone can easily turn a good thing, bad.
Worse still, it creates assumptions -- and mostly false assumptions. When you look through someone’s phone, you are looking at things out of context. It’s like if you hear a white person yell the N-word, you assume he’s racist because you didn't hear the full sentence: "N-Word, what up dog," which is totally acceptable if he is saying it to a good buddy of his.
It’s like if you see text on your girlfriend’s phone from "Tom Turtle Bay," which reads "I want to take care of you tonight," Without seeing the rest of that message thread, you could falsely assume that he is saying he wants to lay the pipe tonight while you thought she was planning on having tea with her mother. It could be her gay friend Tom being that gay best friend that all women have. You basically see what you want to see and begin to see things that you think you are seeing.
The thing about it is that we all have a choice, just like I have a choice with my number 2 fantasy draft pick. With the wrong choice, I can end up with a terrible team for the rest of the season and be the butt of all the jokes -- a good thing, going bad essentially. In a relationship, when you see that phone mistakenly abandoned, you have a choice. Do you want to make a good thing, bad or do you go with the ignorance is bliss method? I assure you sometimes not knowing what is on the other side of that 5-inch touch screen is a good thing; think of it as a gateway to secrets you don't want to know.
The real issue with snooping is that there never really is enough time to go through all of it, only a small sum of it and the rest is derived from false assumptions of what you already saw and that is when you get crazy. Let’s face the truth, girls and guys in our current day and age are going to chat with other girls and guys, even if they are currently with you. To really snoop, you need about a solid hour, to say the least, to get down all the information you are looking for, but usually you have a solid 5 minutes before she gets back from the bathroom or realizes she left her phone unattended. Unless they fall asleep -- then it’s no holds barred.
We all have the temptation, we all have the urge and we all have that little bit of doubt that something may be going on behind our backs that we should know about. We want to know everything and indeed we have become a jealous society, which is why mostly everyone can't resist the temptation of going through an unaccompanied phone. All those questions you have in your heard about them are about to be answered when you do, so and I assure you, it is not going to result in something pretty.
I am sure you have all been faced with the predicament of whether or not you should go through someone’s phone. I used to do it all the time because I just had to know. Ten out of 10 times of doing this, I have seen a good thing go bad and result in false assumptions, but true confessions and things I never wanted to see. The thing about snooping is that you have to get your Sherlock Holmes on and connect the dots.
The simple text of "Come over, let’s watch a movie" can be translated many different ways and the explanation never sounds believable afterwards because you have already made up your mind. I have also been on the other side of the spectrum where my phone and privacy have been trespassed on, I use the word ‘trespass’ because the things on my phone aren't pretty. She and I never spoke again, as seeing a nudie from a cute blonde that she already suspected me of sleeping with was just too much for her to handle.
I now have come to terms, as should you, that not knowing what is on the other side of that touchscreen is actually for the better, it calls for a clear mind and not having to dissect every message you read and thought you understood in that 5 minute window. I have vowed never to snoop again, as should you, because no matter what you are speculating or how many lies you think you are being fed, it is much easier to deal with the doubt than the exaggerated assumption. We in Gen-Y are no angels and we all know that.
If you do decide to snoop, then remember you are essentially praying for the best, but expecting the worst -- and the worst is like nothing you have ever imagined. I once witnessed someone go through his girlfriend’s phone only to discover that her fiancé was texting her. So, yes, it is better that you don't know most of the time. If Hillary Clinton can keep a blind eye, then you can too.