Password sharing, which is the latest way to display trust in a teenage relationship, comes with some less romantic risky realities, experts have warned.
Passwords are being compared to sex in terms of intimacy and vulnerability, but many experts advise against teens from sharing their access codes, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the New York Times, the trend for teens to share their access codes to Facebook, e-mail and Twitter is on the rise. A 2011 study found that 30 percent of internet-savvy teens had shared a password with a friend or partner, while girls are twice as likely to give their secret codes away.
At times, it can be entirely justified, of course, but the habit can lead to some hurtful and damaging misuse of passwords before they are hastily re-set, and may be a factor in romance faltering in the first place.
As innocuous as password-swapping may at first sound, one tech expert, Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes told the Times that she compares the pressure of password sharing to teen sex, both because of its vulnerability and because it is discouraged by adults.
The mother of 16-year-old Emily Cole, Patti, 48, from Glastonbury, Connecticut, agrees. She told the newspaper that it is precisely this element of forbidden fruit that she fears fuels teens to share intimately.
Her daughter felt the harsh side of swapping her password when her former lover cruelly forwarded a letter to a new love interest around the school.
According to counsellors and experts, relationships hit rocky ground because of the over-sharing – swapping passwords may be more about lacking trust than a sign of shared trust and gives no space for entirely personal correspondence.
That reputation is at stake above all else, as well as the implicit threat of public action if the relationship does take a wrong turn, is perhaps most corrosive.