A new survey by HP shows that a majority of Americans are pretty nosy about what’s going on on their partners’ phones and computer screens. The survey asked 3,000 general consumers and 1,500 office workers about their sneaky phone-peeping behaviour both in the workplace and at home, and TBH, the results are kinda brow-raising. Six out of 10 people admit to “looking at their partner’s private text messages and photos at some point without them knowing.”
Possibly more alarming is the fact that 8 out of 10 people admit to creeping on ANY screen if a notification popped up (like a fellow aeroplane passenger’s phone or a coworker’s computer). Another stat shows that 50 per cent of people hide their own computer or phone screen from their S.O. in order to prevent them from seeing what they’re doing.
I guess it’s understandable to reflexively look at a phone when a notification makes a noise and dings, but actually snooping to the point of getting their password and doing so without them knowing is def an invasion of privacy. I don’t do sus shit on my partner’s phone, but I’d be PISSED if my partner ever went through mine for any reason. Then again, if you’re snooping, you’re probably suspicious for other reasons at that point anyway.
My main curiosity is how exactly these people who peep on their partners’ phones do it successfully? Like, yeah, you could just watch them put in the password and then sneak into it while they’re not looking, but is that really it? To figure out, I asked some self-identified phone peepers on how and why they peep.
Now, it’s important to note that we DON’T support creeping on your partner’s phone. It’s always advisable to talk to someone and air out any suspicions over invading someone else’s privacy. BUT out of pure curiosity, here’s what they had to say:
Why did you snoop?
Kat*, 26: “I’ve looked at the phones of five people I’ve dated. I looked at the first three phones because the guys made me feel like they were hiding something from me....My suspicions were correct on all three of them. I snooped on the last two guys out of fear of being cheated on again.”
Tara, 29: “I had my suspicions. He had female coworker friends, and their friendships were so weird to me. Turns out, they would have weird conversations that were teetering on the line of inappropriate. They’d also make plans for when I was at work and always be going out doing things, claiming best friends hang out.”
Colleen*, 27: “The first time I did it was an accident! I was literally just trying to be a nice girlfriend and plug my man’s phone in for him when I saw texts on the lock screen on my way to his charger. After that, I started snooping because I didn’t trust him.”
Justine, 27: “In retrospect, there were some signs that I just chose to ignore. It was just a gut feeling and then it was just a rabbit hole of digging up more shit.”
How did you snoop on your partner’s phone?
Kat: “Ordering food from his phone is the prime time to do a super-fast sweep. When you have the phone, be indecisive about your order so you can wait until he gets up to do something or go to the bathroom to open his texts or IG DMs or whatever you see him being the most sneaky about—you can ALWAYS tell what they don’t want you to see....You can tell pretty fast if he’s texting another woman. This is not the best time to confront him about it, but you can at least get a name and gather intel from social media and then build your case so you can catch him later down the line.”
Tara: “I knew his password and I’d go through my husband’s phone all the time while he was in the shower or sleeping. Before picking it up, I would make sure I took note of the exact spot on the side table it was, and I’d check to see which was the last app opened so that I could exit the messages app and put that app back up when I was done. I sound crazy, but I always found shit! He is no longer my husband, by the way.”
Colleen: “On my ex’s phone, I legit had my fingerprint saved, but now that most people have Face ID, I just pay attention and memorize the password but don’t ever let them know I know it.”
Justine: “He had a passcode, but I knew it and had fingerprint access. He was really open with his stuff and I guess that’s why I was never really suspicious. Once my gut told me something was up, though, I found evidence he had been cheating multiple times with multiple girls.”
What did you do with the info you found while snooping?
Kat: “I confronted the guys about it but ultimately did nothing.”
Tara: “Once, I found receipts in his email of a few gifts he bought one of these ‘friends’—that was the last straw. I confronted him and he lied about it, but at that point, I didn’t care and I left him.”
Colleen: “I woke him up and broke up with him as soon as I saw.”
Justine: “I took photos of all the stuff I found on his phone and sent it to him. And then when he called to explain, I read them all out one by one and reeeally dug for the information.”
Would you do it again?
Kat: “Yeah, I would. I’d rather know. I just hope I’d listen to my gut and dump somebody if I found evidence they were cheating on me rather than stick around and let myself get mistreated. All I did with my discoveries was let them eat me alive and destroy my self-esteem and trust in other people.”
Tara: “I wouldn’t do it again because I’d just leave someone if I had unanswered suspicions. It was sooo mentally draining for me to go through his phone constantly that I will never touch another man’s phone that I date.”
Colleen: “For future relationships, I can’t say. I snoop on my current partner now, but I haven’t found anything worthy of breaking up over. It’s just like, ‘Oh, you watch weird porn, huh, but doesn’t everyone?’”
Justine: “Yeah, I’d probably do it again. The aftermath sucks, but I’d rather know than continue being the idiot. We worked through it, but now I straight-up pick up his phone and dig whenever I want. I’ll look over his shoulder when he’s browsing or texting when we’re together. It’s not like he can complain since it’s his own fault, TBH.”
Kat: “Not really. The only thing I regret is not leaving my abusive relationships sooner. I wish I hadn’t stuck around trying to bury my anger and hurt, and I wish I’d known more about gaslighting and emotional abuse. Live and learn, I guess.”
Tara: “No regrets at all. I would have NEVER found any evidence had I not been a sneaky snake and gone through his phone.”
Colleen: “I regret it when I do it now because, like I said, I haven’t found anything incriminating. But I keep doing it, like, ‘SMH, why can’t I just trust him?’”
Justine: “No way, no regrets at all, not even a little bit.”
*Name has been changed.