My boyfriend is always demanding to see my phone. He goes through my WhatsApp and checks up on my texts and contacts. He, on the other hand, refuses with his and it has a pattern password. It’s now annoying me. How do I make him stop?
– Snoop’s Bae.
Dear ‘Snoop’s Bae’
The WhatsApp troubles of our paradise! I would need a lot of pages to discuss that nifty little thing called WhatsApp. The problem with WhatsApp is that many of you (in the developing world) use it as a social media when in actual fact it’s a messaging service. I so much as treat WhatsApp like an email because I can’t stand the noise. Many of you are spending much of your productive time on WhatsApp because you are “bored.” Unsurprisingly, it was recently revealed that half of Zimbabwe’s internet traffic goes via WhatsApp. [Kirk – may you please link that Quartz.com article about Zim net usage].
See why your boyfriend and all the other lovers who snoop on their lover’s phones are worried?
What does he find on your phone? I guess nothing suspicious. What does he have to hide on his phone? I guess something suspicious. Double standard alert! I bet when y’all began the relationship his snooping was something you found amazing and you thought he did it because he cared. Wrong. The male psyche cannot handle being cheated on for reasons I’d rather not go into for your situation.
Because of the way WhatsApp has gone viral as a piece of communication technology, you cannot make him want to stop checking on your phone. Not only is it an invasion of your privacy, it is illegal for him to do so without your consent. I would need more pages to go into what consent is. But since you always consent and give him your phone to check, you gotta tell him that his jealousy is not cute anymore. While you may have liked it initially, it is no longer a fun part of the relationship. You can ask him just exactly for how long he is going to do that for in life since smartphones and WhatsApp are not going anywhere anytime soon.
If it bothers you that much, then you are headed for splitsville!
Since you have nothing to hide and clearly he has the stuff to hide, then you are in an uneven relationship. You don’t have to be a Silicon Valley tech engineer or a psychic to know that anyone who hides their WhatsApp is, in fact, hiding multiple partners. It’s as simple as that. If your lover hides their WhatsApp from you, treat it as a red flag. They are keeping multiple partners on that chat line or they have two WhatsApp chat lines running on that phone! And please, this only applies if the two of you are in a mutually exclusive relationship. People these days go into relationships assuming that they are exclusive and yet other person is thinking free-for-all. He thus is checking to see if you are doin’ what he’s doin!
So have a sit down with him. Ask him if you guys are in an exclusive relationship, that’s if you choose to stay. Beware sexually transmitted diseases by condomising always. Where the 21st Century and mobile phones are concerned, there is nowhere to hide for cheating lovers. Sooner or later, whatever he is hiding on his phone will show up. If I’m wildly wrong, then I’m afraid you have a possessive man and that’s just as bad.
Sonny Jermain is an award winning public health, maternal, sexual and reproductive health rights facilitator and a traditional psychic. This column appears Thursdays on Enthuse. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +263 77 274 8454. Follow @SonnyJermain.