Ask FHM is a corner of the internet where we fan the flames of your burning questions. Here, we dish out some tough love and an honest take on whatever potentially life-changing situation you find yourself in (while silently thanking God we aren’t you right now). Ask us anything. Except for money, and if open-minded ba kami.
I caught my girlfriend checking my phone a few times. Her argument was, if I had nothing to hide, why couldn’t she poke around? I kind of see her logic, but the idea of her snooping around in there makes me uncomfortable all the same. Is it normal that she keeps snooping around on my phone?
In a word: No. It is not.
Not because we are condoning keeping your shenanigans a secret. It’s not about making sure those sneaky side-chick messages and secret porn files stay hidden. Because even if you have nothing to hide (and you shouldn’t), she still shouldn’t think it’s okay for her to snoop around your phone.
It isn’t about if you’re guilty or not. It’s about reserving the right to be guilty (but hopefully not—stay straight, boys). It’s not a question of her trust, it’s a matter of respect for your private space—something you deserve (and should demand) no matter how close you are, or in love you are with each other.
We already live in a world where the Google robot-gods mine our personal lives for prime advertising, where we pay millions to live in shoeboxes crammed next to other crowded shoeboxes, and we’re encouraged to excessively overshare on social media to stay relevant and get validation. We tick “I agree” boxes not realizing we’ve signed over our the most intimate details of our lives to apps and sites that make said lives easier and more entertaining.
Is it any surprise that the most popular celebrities are the ones who don’t hold back from revealing everything, from their super-specific Starbucks orders to their singits? We see everyone posting medical results and sonograms, visas and passports, slimy, fresh-from-the-chute children, elderly parents on deathbeds—all devolving into a digital dumpsite of hash-tagged memories.
So little about us stays hidden and inscrutable nowadays. It’s like we’re allergic to privacy. Given so much access to other people’s lives makes us start believing we’re entitled to it. Case in point: Your girlfriend snooping through your phone means she believes she’s more entitled to your personal space than you are.
"So little about us stays hidden and inscrutable nowadays. It’s like we’re allergic to privacy. Given so much access to other people’s lives makes us start believing we’re entitled to it"
Whether we’ve been conditioned to believe we have no choice or not, we now hold so little space private. Call it mababaw, but our phones are little metal-and-glass repositories of our personalities. It's no longer “Tell me who your friends are,” it’s now “Show me your Camera Roll and recent search history and I’ll tell you who you are.” Our phones are there for every milestone and minutiae of our lives, from seeing Dua Lipa live to scrolling through Facebook as you take a dump. Every note you save and screenshot you take make up part and parcel of your life. It sounds stupid, but it isn’t a stretch to say that in today’s world, your phone is fucking sacred.
So we’re not saying your girlfriend is wrong for snooping because she might find your secret side-chick, we’re saying your girlfriend is wrong because she’s violating your right to have a secret (side-chick or otherwise). There’s a difference. We all deserve to have inner lives (richer ones than the one we display online, even), and in this digital age, our phones serve as gatekeeper of this. It shouldn’t matter that you saved hundreds of photos of your disgusting ingrown toenail or you’re ashamed of how uncool your Netflix queue is—no one should have to see it if it's on your phone.
It’s about being proprietary about one of the few things that are actually solely yours. Your phone and its contents paint an intimate portrait of you. And your girlfriend is showing a disregard of your personal space by constantly snooping. Tell her to back off—how would she like it if you picked through her photos and saw the approximately 5462 subpar selfies and failed fashion blogger OOTD shots she hadn’t deleted yet?
Reserve your right to personal space. It’s pretty sad that it’s relegated to about six inches of glass screen and however many gigs of memory you have left, but it’s yours.