Not long after I started dating my boyfriend, I had an inkling that something wasn't quite right. Aforementioned boyfriend was so nice and void of obvious, in-your-face flaws (and still is!) that I started to envision that he was leading some sort of secret double life. And where better to check for clues than the internet?
However, an evening (or four) of cyberstalking revealed nothing. Zilch. Nada. And I'm usually very good at this whole spying thing. Which meant that either a) Boyfriend wasn't up to much at all and just so happens to be a genuinely nice man, or b) he totally IS up to something, the rotten sneak, and covers his tracks well. Is he hiding some deep, dark secrets that I've yet to unearth?
Well, his Myspace page didn't let on that I'm dating the next Dexter. Oh, this guy's GOOD.
Will I ever find out if I'm going out with a potential love rat/pervert/serial killer? Who knows. Do I have trust issues? Well if I do, it's apparently normal, because according to a recent study by people search site yasni.co.uk, more than 70% of us Brits check out our partners' activity online.
70 per cent.
Okay, so maybe this really isn't something to be relieved about. Surely my inability to trust my partner online is a bad sign?
Let's face it; when it comes to a new relationship, there always comes the inevitable background check. Non-believers of the 'curiosity killed the cat' tale will no doubt be jumping onto the nearest PC after date number one in order to find out if his dangly bits are basking in photographic glory on AdultFriendFinder in the hope to score some local lovin', or even worse, if he's done something along the lines of 'numa numa guy'. Eugh. Enough said The 'check' is most definitely essential.
Despite not being as concise as an MI5 interrogation with Jack Bauer thrown in for good measure, it's quite often effective enough. Such basic checks include the general username searches, Facebook lookups and a scour through the other half's online photo albums with a thudding heart, prepared to find something that's not particularly charming.
Whereas I personally haven't gone as far as checking his mobile and other such snoopery that friends have admitted to ('You did WHAT?!'), the internet provides us with a world full of possibilities. What makes us so curious? And has the growth in social networking caused us to become a nation of cyber stalkers and potential closet bunny-boilers? Information sharing has certainly become the norm, and without realising, we can leave huge footsteps behind in the online world just as we would in real life.
Gizmodo, who reported on the survey, said that 'even though almost half the survey admitted to trusting their partners fully, 21% said they are simply nosey and check anyway.'
And the North West is Britain's most untrusting region. 64% admitted to checking up on their partners (online) at least once per month.
So, curious little me isn't the only one out there with general suspicion. I'm normal! Everyone does it, and I can finally say a grand 'up yours' to anyone who says I should visit the doc about my burgeoning paranoia.
Well, we'll just see how long it takes before I'm hiding in bushes with binoculars. Then I'll get it checked out...
Image via UOrgeon