Intimacy is a constant struggle for most humans. We’re implicitly social creatures, but as our nature interacts with our nurture (and subsequent rejection, acceptance, trust, and dishonesty), we learn to not give in fully to each new love right away. And now that our digital lives are completely woven into our physical ones, we’re learning how to be intimate on entirely new levels.
In a recent Pew Research Center study on online dating, researchers found the number of American singles using online networking sites and dating applications has increased in recent years. While this isn’t a surprise, The Daily Beast supplies some more relevant tidbits.
It seems in addition to coupling via technological means (having Skype dates or sexting some dick pics, for example), modern lovers are forming relational bridges of trust with more innocuous but highly valued items — like their Netflix passwords.
“In the same way that giving someone a key to your home is a marker of trust and faith, so is giving someone the password to your email, or at least your Netflix account (there are boundaries). 67 percent of couples say they share passwords to an online account and 27 percent take the even bolder step of sharing email passwords,” The Daily Beast says.
Some may take this as a shot at intimacy, but perhaps it’s merely intimacy that’s adapted to an age when most everything has a specific app for sharing. For one-line quips and inside jokes, we have Twitter. For photos, Instagram. There’s even PoopLog to track your bowel movements. With all that connective tech out there, why shouldn’t couples use some of it to form strong bonds? In some cases, couples have actually reported using digital tools to resolve relationship problems they were unable to in person.
So, don’t feel bad (or at least odd) if your relationship is more characterized by your text history than it is by a string of love letters. We’ve exchanged house keys for passcodes and swapped swapped medicine cabinets for Netflix queues. When our partner comes over, we run to clear our Internet history rather than shove a stuffed animal under the bed. And all of this is normal — even science says so.