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Two-thirds of spouses share online passwords

Social media, cellphones, emails, iPads, fantasy football leagues, computer apps or video gaming systems, whatever the cyber-related device is, it seems to play a role in the lives of Houston residents. There is no doubt that each of these types of technology has its benefits, but use of a device or feature certainly has its risks too.

What about where relationships are concerned? How is technology changing the way we date, marry and divorce? According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, there are a few broader trends. For instance, it may surprise some readers to learn that 74 percent of respondents believed that the Internet hasn’t harmed their relationship. Alternatively, this group said it had a positive impact.

Relationships are about honesty, right? Could sharing your online passwords or even an email account prevent some infidelity, whether emotional or financial? Could sharing these be considered a sign of commitment or trust? Whatever the reason, the study found that approximately 66% of couples knew the passwords to their spouse’s accounts. Around 27 percent of couples actually shared an email address.

Can technology be used to add a little excitement to a physical relationship? Where sending slightly racy text messages or photos were concerned, 9 percent of the respondents said “yes” when asked if they were the promoter of a little “sexting” with their partner. Another 20 percent said that they were on the receiving end of these messages -- a number that increased from the previous year.

Of course, there were some reported downsides to technology. Although that 74 percent of people mentioned above reported a positive impact from the Internet, that number decreased from the prior year. The overall percentage of people that said there was a definite negative effect rose from 13 to 20 percent from last year to this year’s study.

Technology doesn’t just play a role in our relationships as they develop; it can also play a role in a divorce as well. How could technology affect my divorce? It’s a question that an attorney can help Houston residents answer, especially if they have very specific concerns.

Source: Pioneer Press, “True love includes shared email for some couples,” Hayley Tsukayama, March 2, 2014

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