If you are romantically involved with someone or are in a marital relationship, you might assume that doing things like using your partner’s smartphone to track their whereabouts or employing electronic gadgets like doorbell cameras to monitor their actions is okay. Maybe you assume that taking steps such as those and similar ones that involve technology are just illustrations of your ardor, persistence or inventiveness in pursuit of the object of your adoration.
Thank again. Those acts and others like them are not harmless or innocent – even if your intentions are. The advent of portable or miniaturized technology and its almost universal presence in our homes, workplaces and vehicles has made it easier than ever to cross the narrow boundary between staying connected to the one you love and stalking, hounding or intruding upon them, minus their awareness or permission.
It can result in their intense discomfort or downright fear. In fact, WebMD states that domestic violence “has taken a 21st-century turn,” thanks to technology and its ominous new applications.
What is technology abuse in the context of domestic violence?
One expert cited by WebMD said that “power and control” over their targets are the usual trademark intentions of abusers. Technology facilitates that in numerous ways such as:
- Inserting spyware in someone’s electronic device
- Using a person’s social media accounts to upend their friendships or irreparably damage their reputation
- Demanding someone’s account passwords to see what they have been doing online and with whom
Consider what you are doing with technology that could be unwelcome
Sometimes people don’t realize the painful effect their technology-related actions may have, especially if there is a context of domestic violence in the relationship already. If you feel like you are subverting or appropriating technology in a harmful manner, make an effort to stop. You could eventually be held accountable in ways that negatively impact your career, your role as a parent or your stature in the community.