Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Would You Have Done?!

Although I don't know why, some of the guys I used to date gave me their e-mail and facebook passwords (men tend to have the same password for everything). Maybe they really trusted me... maybe they really loved me... maybe they were slow typers.... maybe they needed me to access something and forgot to change it back...or maybe they were really dumb. I'd like to think the latter but who knows...

A person can do a lot with an e-mail password. In fact, the possibilities are endless. However, before you jump to any rash conclusion about what I did - I admit, I snooped. In my defense, it was not a consistent violation of privacy nor was it done manipulatively with any sort of revenge in mind. Instead, it was just a simple inkling to know more. On top of that, I had confided in the BFF who agreed, it was harmless and given our bored Christmas break lull, we thought it'd be a good idea. Yeah... we were wrong, but that's not the point ... at least not yet.

No good has come from that incident. Not only did we find nothing juicy or interesting at all, we were wrecked with guilt and remorse immediately thereafter. And then, the inevitable happened. It began to loom in the back of my mind and tempt me.. maybe there's something interesting today? Maybe something exciting happened now? I'd like to say it's only when I'm restless that the temptation strikes.. but it's more of a when you least expect it type urge. Luckily, I am happy to report I have been strong enough to resist such destructive desires but I did begin to ponder.... what could I do to get rid of this knowledge?

Julia heard of my snooping incident and told me she was going to e-mail them both and tell them. I begged her not to and she only agreed after I promised, pinky swore, that I would not access their e-mails again. Fearful of how mortifying her notification to them would be, I promised her I would not. And I did not. But still... the thought of should I.... would I... could I... would not pass, could not pass, and did not pass.

My co-workers told me I was crazy. And upon hearing this, I thought.. am I? If you had such privy information, you could tell yourself I won't look now... but what would prevent you from looking in two.... five... ten years? The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became. I knew the burden of such information would only grow and I didn't want it! Facebook stalking is already ridiculous as it is - did I need more stalking opportunities tempting me?

I knew I had to do something ... but what?! How could I convince these dummies to change their passwords without giving away the fact that I had violated their trust and accessed their e-mails? I began to defend myself again, thinking I was strong enough. I would not succumb to looking and all could be left alone. But this feeling inside would not disappear. I don't think it was instinctive... nor was it something of my own. It was almost as if I felt prompted to react. But what was prompting me? Not my own will.. but something more powerful, something stronger than myself. I knew I should act... I just felt I should.... but how?!

After obtaining advice from numerous friends and family (my mom said they're stupid for giving me their e-mail but that's their fault, my brother just chuckled and muttered dumb*butts, my best friends roared with laughter and my co-workers were amused by how ridiculous my situation was) or attempting to obtain advice (as most of them just laughed at the pickle I was in), I came up with a solution.

I would threaten them in e-mail that their passwords had been violated! I could be ScaryHacker123 e-mailing them to change their passwords immediately or have all their information compromised. But then... I thought, what if the government came after me and tracked down my IP address and realized who I was? Would I be arrested? Bad plan.. what next?

I would give them a virus in their e-mails! Okay... duh, not a real virus - but a fake one. One of those messages that sends itself to all your contacts and pushes you to realize there's something wrong. It can be asking for money.. or referring you to a website.. or asking you to forward information. Oh, it was brilliant! Only... it had to be harmless and nothing disgusting.. so I drafted up an e-mail that recommended all contacts to check out this cool website (which I checked.. is nothing dirty or virus-ish). I decided to change it up for the second dummy. Not wanting to send another e-mail to all contacts, Claire suggested I change their gmail settings so a background theme would come up when they opened their e-mail. Again... brilliant!

I felt good. I felt like I had acted on a prompting and made a difference. And now, I could go about, knowing that other worldly things would try their best to attack me but at least I had done my own due diligence in ridding myself of one temptation.

So I told Andy about it, thinking I was soooo clever. I may have even asked him if he was proud. And then, to my dismay, he told me, those boys would not change their password. Based on what I did, they would just think the system had a malfunction and disregard it as anything with their e-mail access. UGH. This situation was becoming a wet blanket.

Pride is a funny thing. You often don't realize it is there, staring at you in the face, holding you back from doing something right. In this moment.. I thought why I couldn't just e-mail them and tell them I had their passwords?

1) Because I would look really stupid.
2) Because I would be admitting I had done something wrong - which I had... but still, why do I have to tell them about it?!
3) Because I was embarrassed by my own actions.
4) Because I did something wrong.

But I wanted to fix it. So... I sucked up my own pride, put aside how ridiculous I would soon feel once I sent the e-mail, how psycho crazy I would become to all of their friends who heard the story, and did it.

I didn't even bcc them. I sent them both an e-mail together. The e-mail was succinct and cordial. It told them I had their passwords from before, it had not left my mind, and I had tried to let them know inconspicuously and failed. I apologized and asked them to change their passwords.

It's hard to admit you did something wrong. It's even harder to fix it. But what I learned from my psycho episode is this... pride is dangerous, don't let it get in the way of doing what's right. My girlfriends love this story because it's only something Daisy would do!... but in addition to that, although they all agree it's not something they'd ever do, nobody disagrees that it would have been a constant temptation and everyone agrees that it's for the better. If only I had realized that before I sent the e-mail to all his contacts...