Shared Internet Accounts

If I get an online friend request or e-mail from PastorSteveandSuzySmith or JaredandHisLovingHelpmeetOverWhomHeExercisesGodlyHeadshipAndSpiritualCovering@juno.com it’s a pretty good chance that it’s coming from people who were part of my former fundy life.

The strange thing is that this is almost invariably an account used exclusively by the female half of that duo. The man almost never posts or apparently ever logs in even though his name the most prominent feature on the address or screen name.

Why do they do this? I really have no idea — but it’s far too frequent to be mere coincidence.

138 thoughts on “Shared Internet Accounts”

        1. Those were 5.25 inch floppy disks and then came the HUGE storage capacity 3.5 inch floppy disks (that were actually not floppy unless you ripped them apart.

        2. Before the 5.25-inch floppies, there were the 12-inch floppies (the ones that truly flopped)! If you remember those, you’ve got to be as old as me.

        3. My father’s 1st computer was a TRS-80 with cassette tape drive. It cost $3000 and you could play pong on it. IOW, $3000 for a machine that did nothing.

        4. TRS-80, 8 in floppy and you had to know Basic. Oh the days of DOS… (glad we don’t live there no mo!)
          Fortran, Pascal, Cobalt, ASCII, “We’ve come a long way baby!” 😎

        5. george, george, george, you did it again. Not “Cobalt”… that is a laser color and a cancer treatment… “Cobol” is the Grandaddy of programming languages. goeorge at least let us look like we know what we are talking about.
          thanks,
          Don

        6. let us look like we know what we are talking about.

          don,
          You mean act like we still Fundie? Where appearance more imoprtant than reality?

          george

        7. That pesky “Submit” button! I always push it moments before I see a glaring typo that I should’ve caught, but now it toooooo laaaaate!!!!

          Good point about appearances vs. reality.

        1. LOL! I remember my dad getting the Commodore 64. He had some games we could insert and play. One was a mountain climbing one that played “Anitra’s Dance” by Grieg as you tried to avoid avalanches and various other mountainout hazards.

  1. Accountability. The wife does not trust the husband and possibly he has given her reason to not trust him (or maybe she is overly paranoid).

    Anyway, it is a way for her to keep tabs on him.

        1. Not always. A lot of men have issues with internet pornography. I know quite a few couples with the problem, and usually the wife has access to the husband’s e-mail accounts to keep him on the right track.

        2. I agree, it’s a vicious cycle. Men don’t like to be controlled yet we do that which makes women feel the need to control us. Neither the man nor woman is following God’s plan in that scenario.

          If we acted and thought as we should then our women would be able to trust us and not feel the need to control.

          I pray for a renewed mind every day yet I continually fail at keeping my thoughts where they should be. It truly is a daily battle for me and most guys especially in todays culture.

        3. Hmm.. honestly, I don’t think it’s the women trying to keep tabs on the men, & I certainly don’t think it has anything to do with something women have by nature or by curse…yikes!

          I think it’s the men exerting control over the women. Having their own account would be allowing the women too much freedom and autonomy. Kind like the whole “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” phenomenon in which the woman’s name {and identity} is completely swallowed by the man’s.

        1. Yeah, I had that coming! May God have mercy on me! 🙂 I’ve gotten the Griswald’s Christmas boss rant before, so this is pretty tame. 🙂

        1. Yes! The sane (and honest) ones deny the existence! The rest are primarily insane with a few emperor’s clothes types (like pw)! 😉

        2. Hallelujah! Another one sees the light – I mean, the white piano! (It took me a while to see it, but I finally did!)

        3. :W-e-l-l Glory!
          Another one got Right!
          See once you get past Jack… there it is!
          Bless you sister, Bless you!
          Anyone else want to get right and testify here this evening? come on the Altar is open… we’ll sing another couple of verses, there’s no hurry here tonight we’ll just wait on gid to close this service but so long as he is moving we’ll keep the altar open.
          Anyone else see the white piano now?
          You come while the piano plays.
          In fact, I want every head bowed and every eye closed… no one looking around.
          If you are here tonight and you have not seen the White Piano, and you sincerely want to see the white piano just raise your hand.
          I see that hand… and that hand.
          No one looking around… I see that one bless you sister… and that one Bless you brother. Hands are going up all over the internet.
          You can put them down.
          While the music plays why don’t you make your way down to the altar and one of you counselors will set down with you and the “Ordination Photo” and lead you through the photo and show you the White Piano.
          I’ll pray and you come on down.
          We have female counsleors for the ladies and male counselors for the men.
          Don’t put it off any longer, as the White Piano plays you come on.
          Now is the time!
          Today is the day. Come on, get right now.
          We’ll just wait on gid to close this service.
          The Altar is open.
          Anyone else? Anyone?……..”

        1. Many are in denial. Maybe it is Jack that is blocking them and they need to learn to look past Jack and their eyes will be opened. If they’s just git right with gid they could see it. 😉

        2. @Sarah We should form a separate prayer chain for the delusional crazies that are projecting the white piano they’ve always wanted onto that picture! 🙂

        3. Maybe the amount of years lived in Fundyland is a direct ratio to the ability to see the piano. 10+ years= White piano vision.

        4. Perhaps some sin in you life has not been confessed and therefore you are cut off from the white piano. You cannot fellowship with the white piano if you have hidden sin in your heart!

        5. I think I’m going to try to find the original picture 😛

          And yes, that definitely looks like a white piano: it must be the 20+ years I spent in fundyland.

  2. My Mom (who is not a Fundy, btw) uses an account in my Dad’s name. Not both of their names, just his. Dad seldom uses it (he seldom uses a computer at all). I don’t know why it’s that way. I’ve never asked.

    My wife and I each have separate Internet addresses. She occasionally shows me something on her e-mail or Facebook, but otherwise I have no idea what she does online. I don’t know if she looks at my account or not, but I doubt it, because what I do isn’t interesting enough.

      1. Ditto here, though I have been known to get into the hubby’s account and delete the hundreds of “Your comic for today” email notifications he gets and never looks at. I clear out all the phishing emails as well, something he just doesn’t have time to mess with.

      2. Separate email accounts? My husband and I have separate COMPUTERS. He’s a MAC fan, and I’m not. I have no idea what he’s doing on his, since they’re in separate rooms, too–except that he reads and answers his email, plays games, and keeps track of the bills and bank accounts; I play different online games, read blogs and email, and keep track of some folks on Facebook. We’d drive each other nuts any other way.

    1. My dad started an email I think when my mom still thought the internet was evil. Then she came around to the internet when she realized she could make money selling old library books to other fundies on ebay. She took over my dad’s email. He started another email, she took over that one too. Recently I asked for his email and my mom said he doesn’t have one, we share one. I asked my dad later and he said sure here’s my email, I think she doesn’t know about it. They are the kind of fundies were my mom actually reads the Bible and comes up with all the weird rules and convictions and my dad enforces the new rules.

      1. “They are the kind of fundies were my mom actually reads the Bible and comes up with all the weird rules and convictions and my dad enforces the new rules.”

        WIN

  3. I see this a lot with too many married Fundy (and non-fundy) couples on Facebook. Bothers me to no end, since I don’t know whom I’m addressing half the time. No one seems to do this on Twitter, but then again, Twitter is foreign to most fundies…

    I’ve always wondered: would a modern-day polygamist do the same kind of thing, like “BobandSusieandMarthaandJillPeterson?” I would accept that friend request for sure…

    1. I think it’s just a matter of time till it becomes a regular thing on twitter. Maybe they’ll never adopt that technology, but I’m sure the same people would be doing it on twitter if they were on twitter.

  4. We actually have a carry over from that. When I was leaving BJU I set up an email account marknlynn (also our website). It was a great sort of branding for us as a couple. Easy to remember. In fact in IL when we first started to get to know people at our new church we were pretty much just known as marknlynn…one day a couple was trying to remember our last name. The wife asked the husband, “What is Mark N Lynn’s last name?” “I don’t know @gmail.com?”

    But funny thing is that my wife quickly took over this account. So basically it is her account now and I have my own email address for my correspondence. Does that make us fundies? If so this can be remedied immediately :-). It sort of just happened organically and Lynn doesn’t seem to mind. It also serves as are default email if you wanna get a hold of both of us.

    1. Oh and one last thing. We did NOT do the marknlynn email for accountability. I always had my own email address and Lynn did as well. But she started pointing all of her friends to marknlynn and it just basically became hers. She can, but doesn’t check my email (as in I’m sure she knows my password) and I could, but don’t check hers. We operate on trust as it should be.

      K now you can judge me 👿

    2. My wife and I did the same thing essentially. We still use our combined name account for generic family email stuff, but now she uses it as her email address too. Never was a fundy thing for us…we’re just madly in love! 🙂

    3. We have a “family-named” email for business stuff; I’m the only one who access it. I have dozens of emails for myself; hubby has two, and only really uses one. And not one of our emails is juno. We were cyberspace reprobates before it was cool, I guess…

  5. I have to admit I was truly confused when this phenomenon jumped to facebook. It was odd enough on e-mail, but I could see how could be useful in some odd circumstances that don’t involve jealousy & suspicion (although probably most are more motivated by that). I don’t see any point in doing that on FB though. And have never ever seen the combined facebook account where the guy ever used the account or even knew he was on facebook.

    1. I have. I know two couples where the husband checks their joint FB account as much as, if not more than, the wife. It happens. I really wish they’d both just get their own accounts!

  6. Have you ever heard of people who share the password as well? The husband types the first half and the wife types the second half so neither of them can use the computer (or just the internet, or email, or what have you) without the other one there.

    1. Hmm, I’ve heard of that kind of security at nuclear missile silos, but not on a home computer. Living with somebody who’s that suspicious of you must be a ton of fun.

    2. That’s what we were told to do at the Wilds, I remember.

      Although now that I’m pondering the illustration, it never quite made sense. Because supposedly the wife knew one half of the password and the husband knew the other half, and the way Rand Hummel would tell it (it was part of his Don’t Get Caught in the Web sermon about the internet), the husband picked the word “apple” and the wife picked the word “fritters” and then while she’s gone the husband tries to guess the password, and guesses applesauce and apple pie or something but doesn’t guess fritters. So I was always confused, did the wife know the whole password and the husband didn’t? (otherwise why would he assume that the last half had anything to do with apples?) I think that’s the logical assumption from the husband’s guesses, but I thought the point was accountability for both spouses, not babysitting for the husband.

      Does anybody else remember this story?

      1. @K oh yea I remember hearing that story! You are correct in your memory…it was a babysitting the husband thing. The wife knew the first part and added the end. He kept trying to guess it.

        What I never understood was if the goal was him not getting online unsupervised, why did he know any part of the password? Why not just have her know and type in the whole thing every time.

        My conclusion was that it was just a story Rand fabricated for a humorous story.

  7. Yep, accountability. Nevermind that accounts are free and you could just know each others’ passwords… Seems like a trust issue to me, but I guess knowing that someone _could_ look over your shoulder if they wanted to is probably not a bad thing… It would be disingenuous of me to ridicule all forms of accountability and then be outraged when someone slips up after having none. But yeah, this is an inconvenient way to impose accountability that could be accomplished with less ambiguity.

  8. Wife and I each have multiple emails, but nothing shared. We have our own facebook accounts, as we have different circles. Since we are the most normal people ever, everyone needs to do it EXACTLY AS WE DO.

    1. Not only do my husband and I have separate e-mails and facebook accounts, but we don’t really even write on each other’s “walls.” We talk in person. Does that fall into this category of ‘normal’?

      I have friends who share the fb account name and insist that they be sent the friend request; they won’t be the ones to initiate the request.

      1. Just curious. Why do they insist on being the recipient of friend requests not the initiator? Seems kind of weird. Is it a power thing? Are you more “in control” if other people request YOU? Do they think it makes you appear weak if you express a desire to be someone’s friend? Or because they are a couple, are they afraid of requesting a person of the opposite sex? My mind is coming up with lots of reasons why someone would decide this, and all of them come across as ridiculous and hyper-sensitive. Is there a good reason?

        1. I don’t understand it either, but then again I tend to be the “I met you twice last summer so I’ll friend you!” sort of person.

      2. Sarah, I gather that talking in person is no longer considered normal. You should be “Facebooking” each other, “texting,” or at least talking on cell phones– even if you’re in the same room. 😉

        1. PW, IDK why they do it. I think they are holier than thou. and I. Anything I come up with is ridiculous and hyper-sensitive, too.

          BG, Good point. We’re far from normal. I’ll try to keep up.

  9. [HIJACK]
    I am afraid that my comment on “Following Daddy’s Footsteps” may be lost forever. It is the last comment and I think it could propel another 150 comments on that entry.
    [/HIJACK]

    1. HAHAHAHA!!

      SO TRUE!!

      My friend and I were just talking about this very thing yesterday. It’s so old school patriarchy because it’s like it’s saying: “We’re one flesh! We have one identity!”

      I’m not saying that everyone who does it is like that per se. Because I do have one or two FB friends who are good eggs, but they did that at first and it’s hard to change in midstream. I get that.

      In a meta sense, it’s really, really, really important for us to have our individual identities. It’s really important. We aren’t the Borg.

      1. This also brings up one of my wife’s hot buttons…being “Mrs. John Smith”. She hated getting mail to “Mrs. Joel Rollins” though I think about the only time this happened was when it came from some Fundy connection.

    2. I told my wife we could do the sticker thing on our car’s rear window, but she said we’d have so many tropical fish and cats on there that we wouldn’t be able to see out the back window, which would be a driving hazard.

      … Yeah, OK, so I have a few hundred fish. Sue me!

    3. I want to put those stickers on my minivan, but my husband doesn’t like them! Also my kids are growing fast, and I don’t want to have to keep peeling and repasting to change the toddler child to a school-age one!

    4. I don’t have those on the car, the only customization I do to my car are dents from accidents, The wife doesn’t have any on her’s either. I do have a caricature drawing of my family on the wall at work.
      Love it!

      Tommorrow, I will be back as JimE. I’m concerned that my thumbs are not getting enough exercise.

  10. Okay, someone needs to enlighten me on the Juno bit. I’ve had a Juno account for years, my first and I’m still with it. A fundy friend set it up for me. Have I been marked???

      1. Okay, so since I’m overseas I access my Juno through the internet rather than dial up. Have I negated the spiritual safeguards? Is my soul in danger of corruption from the internet while I am checking my email even though it’s Juno? Oh, dear… What have I done?

        1. Tomorrow? You might see something that begins to lead you astray, like the godless site Stuff Fundies Like. Heaven forbid! One day you, too, could be posting there! Like an apostate heathen! 😯

  11. DH and I do this (and we are farrr from fundy). It’s actually a really useful tool. We each have our own email account through gmail and then we have a joint account from them as well. We’ve set it up where we individually get emails from the joint account and we can send from it while in our own accounts. That way, we both see important financial emails, appointments, etc. and neither one of us can claim “But I didn’t know about it!” Personal stuff, ofc, is totally personal, and it kept separate.

    So we’re partially guilt!

  12. When I saw the title of the post I thought I was going to be the first one to comment on the irritation shared Facebook accounts brings to the entire Universe. I see that once again, I am woefully behind the curve..

    IMHO, married couples sharing a facebook and then signing their specific name to a post heightens the aggravation it causes me, but the very very very worst, is when serious dating/engaged couples share one and leave each other messages using it. My question is, why not get two, that way JohnandAshley Hammerface can not annoy the rest of us extremely-normal-and-non-offensive people.

  13. So, does the wife get to look at what the husband’s doing online, in case he gets temped by pornography or something? Or does it only work the other way?

    Also, there are a few practical reasons to share an address. My husband and I have a combined account because at least half of our email applies to both of us: church prayer request and announcements, invitations from friends, his mother asking what we want to bring to Thanksgiving, etc. It’s really convenient not having to make sure the other person got all the information.

    Of course, I also have a work email address, one connected with my Etsy shop, a Hotmail one for junk mail, etc.

    1. We have our own separate accounts, and it’s really not an issue. I think it is a trust issue, and I do think “controlling” type fundy men like to read EVERY email their wife gets.

      Honestly, my husband wouldn’t care if I wanted to read his email, nor I the other way around. Both of us would be bored. 😀

  14. Ha!
    All this time, my mere email address has been screaming, “I AM A FUNDY” and I thought it just showed I had no creativity.
    😯 😯 😯
    I always thought the joint FB account was the most bizarre.

      1. I think I’ll steal your name instead…. 😀

        I almost asked Darrell to keep these Public Service Announcements coming. I’ve been haunted all day by the thought that there are other little quirks I have that give off a fundy-vibe. And then it dawned on me that that’s what the entire SFL site is about.

    1. Good post. Although, it’s not the confusion about who is using the account that bothers me–it’s the willful abdication of individuality.

      It makes me want to vomit every time I see it.

  15. george’s friends Seymore and Fanny did that as well. Their email was removed from the church directory and they we called in for counselling with the Pastor last I heard. 😯

  16. We have separate accounts and separate computers. He works at home and he’s got a lot of boring stuff on his computer. Spreadsheets and flowcharts. Financial ‘stuff’. Backdating calendars, event planning..bleah. I don’t want my name within ten feet of that stuff.
    Right now I’m in the middle of doing a Nanowrimo novel and I need my computer to be available at any given time. I can’t wait until he’s through with ‘work’.

    1. Go NaNoWriMos! (Though I’m sure that fundies would say something was wrong with trying to write a 50K novel in a month…)

      We have three computers in our house. One is my daughters, and the other two (desktop and laptop) are MINE. I let the menfolk use the laptop as I prefer my comfy office chair and the keyboard on my desktop. But when there’s a NaNoWriMo write-in to go to, that sucker (name of Fred) comes with me! (And since I’m not home, the menfolk can use the desktop. Fair is fair.) :mrgreen:

  17. We recently left our fundy church. Of my many FB friends, the only ones with joint accounts are friends from fundyland. I remember the preacher warning about the evils of the internet and to beware of our spouses cyber relationships. This type of sermon always made me wonder what weaknesses the pastor himself struggled with. Seemed we were “warned” to keep an eye on our spouses quite a bit. I always thought it was odd and a little paranoid.

  18. I tend to think that a joint account indicates a lack of healthy boundaries in the relationship. They’ve lost even their virtual individuality. Anyone seen accounts in the man’s name only, used primarily by the woman? Even weirder.

  19. I have never had a joint account (unless my schizophrenia qualifies me), and don’t intend to start now. I find it rather humorous and obnoxious at the same time.

    But in fairness, many of us remember the days when internet accounts only had one email address and “free email” was not widely known or used. So a family sign up would have the family names in it. Of course, that was long before people knew these email accounts would provide fodder for well deserved mockery. Some of these may date to those days. (Does anyone even use juno anymore?) And they may just be people for whom internet use is rare.

    Also, with respect to accountability, many people need it. Having half the password does help to put up some sort of barrier. Though it doesn’t address the heart which is the real problem it can help temporarily stop the flood while other issues are dealt with.

    Many men and women have sinned involving the internet and broken the trust of their spouse and part of the rebuilding process is a willingness to be transparent by sharing passwords, having accountability software, etc. It’s part of living in a broken world. Ugly and destructive … but very real. I have told couples, “No more private emails or passwords and no more chatting” because that was a factor in their sin. These things are part of the process of healing and restoration.

    My wife doesn’t check my emails, though she is welcome to at any time. I have told her my passwords years ago for some reason not relating to any issue, but just in conversation.

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