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  1. #1
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    Couples' e-mail: Pro or con?

    Hey all,

    I'm putting together a little "sound off" piece for an upcoming magazine article and am looking for quotes on sharing tech stuff, and since you're all such marvelously opinionated people, I'd love to include your thoughts.

    There's been a lot of news coverage lately on couples who use the same iTunes and Netflix accounts, co-blog, and so on, and I'm interested in why people share or keep various things to themselves (mrfish and I do all of the above except co-blogging, but we've never shared an e-mail address. I definitely feel like part of a unit, but mrandmsfish@gmail.com would feel weird to me. I have friends who are all for it, though).

    My question to you is: Do you and your partner (if you have one) share some of the stuff I mentioned above, especially an e-mail address? Why or why not?

    If you'd like to contribute, send me a note at cuttlefish[at]gmail.com. Thanks in advance for your help!

    - msfish

    ETA: I'm also just dorkily personally interested in the whole his'n'hers tech thing, so if being quoted isn't your speed, I'd love to just chat about it, too.

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  3. #2
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    i was never one to share anything electronic with my husband. now we're divorced and now i wouldn't consider sharing anything except perhaps netflix and POSSIBLY iTunes but even that, i don't know..... but i think the co-email thing is kinda silly. UNLESS it's like my friend who's husband knows nothing about email so they set up a co-email account. but she felt kind of cornball about it since she was the only one actively using it so she just kept on with her own email and set one up for her husband, which she's still in charge of but at least it's not some dick_and_jane@schoonkiewookems.com, which is how the email address they shared made her feel!

  4. #3
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    My Mr. and I have separate email for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is simple privacy. He has my password and I have his for emergency purposes, but I've rarely used it. When I do read something in his accounts I always let him know. He usually laughs at me. We share itunes, netflix, etc. for billing purposes and simplicity.

  5. #4
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    My partner and I set up a joint email account several years back... and we NEVER used it. I think that once we have kids, we'll probably get a family account, but until then, we'll email separately.

  6. #5
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    The article that really got me interested in this stuff was in the Wall Street Journal a month or so ago: "Til Tech Do Us Part." What struck me was how some of the really embattled tech things really aren't an issue for me at all - like, there was one guy who shared Netflix with his wife and actually woke up extra-early in the morning so that he could update their queue and kick his wife's selections to the bottom right before a new disc got sent. We have a shared account (and share picks) because the billing is simpler, and also because we have a teeny apartment and one of us would get really bored if the other kept ordering movies that only they liked.

    So that's not a problem, and sharing iTunes (and an iPod, actually) isn't a problem (we have pretty similar musical tastes, with a few notable exceptions) - those just feel like extensions of cohabitating to me - but i am VIOLENTLY opposed to the e-mail thing (for exactly the schnookiewookems reason sarabell mentioned). He CAN check my e-mail if he really wants to - he has my passwords for everything, and I have his - but I recoil from the idea of our being treated like a single creature (even if we act like one sometimes by saying the same thing at the same time). I can totally see the value of a family account, as elixirbeth mentioned, but as I'm not going to have kids (and the cats are misanthropes anyway), it won't apply to me.

    I do wonder why I feel so strongly about this. I mean, I send Christmas cards from the both of us every year (hell, I did that before we got married, too), and that never triggered my gag reflex. What is it about digital identity that's so important?

  7. #6
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    I'm single, so I can't speak as a co-email user, but I do send emails to several couples that share addresses.

    I'm all for the "family email address" concept - regardless of family of 2 or many. The what day works for the family holiday party emails are simpler when there is one contact point per family unit.

    But I can't imagine having my only/primary email address be shared. My parents have a shared account so that they can both see pictures of their grandpuppy from their living room, but they also have seperate accounts so they can be reached individually about important issues (like what the heck should we get mom for her birthday?) that only concern one or the other.

    I think it is so easy to get a free email account (and even set up auto-forward on the couple one) that there is no reason to ration accounts like that.

    It is nice to be in a couple and share things and be together and all that, but it just seems like if you share everything it could be suffocating.

  8. #7
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    Apr 2004
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    Maybe fifteen years ago, my (now ex) and I shared a PC and participated in BBS stuff. He would pathologically use my account or ID to post different places, check up on what I'd been writing, etc. Very offensive, especially since he really was nuts. At least once he bashed me online while using my login. Since then, an SO often used my home PC, and hit some oddities in his searches and buying patterns that still show up five years later. That's mildly annoying.

    I have two main email accounts not including work. I don't want to share them with anyone, although that may mean that I either get inundated with all the crap that people send, or sometimes that I don't get news from friends that figure my partner will tell me.

    When and if this current situation becomes more permanent, I'll probably suggest we get a shared email account for those things that make sense, like statements from the mortgagor or reminders from the vet. I definitely don't want any confusion about who is receiving or sending an email, or who is listening to what music. I can see sharing an iPod perhaps, but I don't want to be checking amazon and have his preferences attributed to me. That feels voyeuristic.

  9. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    If you share a bank account, it would make absolutely no sense to have seperate netflix accounts, itunes accounts, etc... its all being paid for by the same account, so, why not share. My husband and I have separate email addresses, but that is just cause we use the same ones we had before we got married... and all of our junk still goes there. He knows my password and I know his though, and his mom emails me and he checks it, etc. I don't know what I would do if I didn't share netflix... Drew introduces me to so many tv shows and movies that I never would have watched if it weren't for him. If you are going to be committed enough to say vows in a church in front of your family saying "til death do us part" then sharing everything you own should just be a natural thing to do... and by everything, I mean everything: including techy stuff.

  10. #9
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    Re: Couples' e-mail: Pro or con?

    Quote Originally Posted by msfish
    My question to you is: Do you and your partner (if you have one) share some of the stuff I mentioned above, especially an e-mail address? Why or why not?
    I don't think we share anything except a bank account. He is authorized to pick up my library books and vice versa, but sharing an email account or coblogging is way too codependent for me. I even have a filter on my livejournal so that I can vent about him. I don't even understand the purpose of a joint email account?? I would feel like I had no privacy whatsoever - let alone an individual identity.

  11. #10
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    We would never share an email account - it wouldn't even come up. My husband also has absolutely zero interest in sharing my craft blog, my private LJ, my flickr ID, anything of the kind. He doesn't read my paper journal either. We don't use NetFlix or iTunes.


 
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