Is It Ever OK to Snoop?

Your boyfriend is in the shower and you venture over to his computer to check your Facebook only to find that he is already logged in.  Usually you would just log him out (or so you say) but this time, you can’t help but notice he has been “poked” by an ex-girlfriend.  You freeze.  You consider your options: sign out and go about your business, or sort through all of his inbox messages to see if there is any other incriminating evidence.  His buzzing Blackberry a foot away only fuels your temptation farther.

To snoop or not to snoop?  It is the question we have all been faced with.

Obviously, if asked whether we “spy” on our significant others, we hastily reject the notion because clearly we’re not one of those “psycho girlfriends.”  But admit it, you’re guilty on at least one account.  However, if you had probable cause, and your unlawful search and seizure did lead you to evidence unraveling your case, you may be able to use the self-defense plea. (OMG, I need to stop watching Law and Order marathons…)

We all know there are different levels of snooping. Reading text messages while pretending to play Brickbreaker on his phone is not as punishable as hacking into his Facebook daily.  And neither pale in comparison to installing spyware on his computer that will track his activity for you to later sort through.

So where is the line drawn? Is some level of snooping OK or should it be completely off-limits? 

Installing snooping software may sound bizarre and intrusive, but what if it proves to be effective in the end?  If a women suspects that her husband is cheating (or visa versa) but cannot get him to admit to his wrongdoings, is running her own investigation really a crime?  Some would advise her that it is in an invasion of his privacy, but what if she finds suggestive e-mails to a female co-worker via the software?  What if she discovers activity on ashleymadison.com?  Obviously she has her intuitions and her suspicion was valid, so most of us would agree that he is a cheating pig and she had a right to snoop.  But on the other hand, what if a woman really did have probable cause, and honestly thought she was going to find something, but her husband turned out to be clean as a whistle? (I never understood this metaphor, whistles collect saliva, they’re not even clean).  Was it ok for her to ultra-snoop to ease her mind, or should she have just convinced herself that he was trustworthy?

On a smaller scale, cell phone read-thrus and Facebook hacking are more prevalent among the college generation.  We have all heard the fight between couples: “I can’t believe you went through my phone” “I wouldn’t have to if you didn’t lie to me” “I don’t lie to you!” “Then why can’t I see if you have nothing to hide?”  way too many times to count.  The truth is, we can never really take a side, because our opinion changes each time the fight warrants our opinion.  If our best friend is the snooper, she had a reason to be, he’s a liar.  If our best friend is the snoopee, he’s a possessive jerk who needs to be able to trust her.

We may never be able to solve this issue and pin-point a definite “right” or “wrong” as the road to Snoopville is a bumpy one. What do you think? Is snooping right or wrong?

The CC Weekly Weigh In: (Bad) Date Night
The CC Weekly Weigh In: (Bad) Date Night
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