It’s no secret that technology has in some ways changed how people date. Take smartphones: Modern couples must contend with the idea that important information about their boyfriend or girlfriend is lurking right on their phone.
Some romantic partners can’t resist snooping. New data from YouGov finds that nearly one in five (19%) Americans have gone through a romantic partner’s phone without permission.
Those snoopers don’t feel bad, either. Most people (73%) who have poked around a partner’s phone say they don’t regret it.
Maybe that’s because the snooping often turns up results.
One-third of snoopers (33%) say they found evidence of something they’d already suspected.
Eighteen percent say they found out about something they hadn’t previously suspected. Millennials (43%) are more likely than Gen Xers (35%) and Baby Boomers (17%) to say they found out about something they’d already suspected. Women (36%) are more likely than men (29%) to say the same.
Millennial women are the most likely snoopers: one-third (33%) admit to having looked through a partner’s phone without permission, while 23 percent of their Millennial male counterparts say the same.
When it comes to using phones as a way to track a romantic partner, people were mixed. Forty-five percent of Americans said they have never looked through a partner’s phone.
Still, roughly three in 10 (29%) Americans say they would want to be able to see their partner’s location at all times (with their partner’s consent), while a similar number (27%) of people say they’re “not at all” interested in tracking.
Millennials are about equally likely to say they’d want this option “a great deal” (19%) or “not at all” (17%).
Although most are not particularly keen on tracking their partner’s location, they’re generally comfortable (64%) with the idea of sharing their own location. Across genders and generations, a majority of people are open to the idea of sharing their location with a partner.
In general, almost half (49%) of Americans believe that partners should have access to one another’s phones, but that access should be somewhat limited. Nearly three in 10 (28%) believe that partners should have unlimited access to one another’s phones. Roughly one in 10 (9%) say that romantic partners should not have any access to each other’s phones at all.
Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,236 US adults ages 18+. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. Interviews were conducted online between May 3 - 6, 2019.