When Married a Couple Share Their Gadgets

Couple on a laptop


Do any of you share your tech together with your partner?

Possibly in your family, do you know a couple who are tech sharers?

I’m talking about the couples who share one computer, one cellular phone, one tablet, or one e-reader.

From my very own completely idiosyncratic and unscientific observations, I might say that this phenomenon is more prevalent than we would expect. I feel that there exists a silent minority of tech-sharing households.

Either financial or philosophical, these are couples who share tech for reasons. A shared computer or phone is okay for infrequent usage because perhaps one member of the couple is an un-enthusiastic tech adopter.

Some of these couples are always together – perhaps retired – and feel no need to double up the devices that have to be paid and cared for. One example is when a shared computer, particularly one that runs Windows, would get errors like api-ms-win-crt-string-l1-1-0.dll missing, then having one computer will leave you only one device that needs to get fixed instead of two.

For some, sharing one e-mail address is as natural as sharing a home signaling. And therefore the smartphone, when used, isn’t a tool to buy or read the news or watch videos – but to create calls with and send the occasional text.

What strikes me with fear and terror is the thought of sharing one computer or one smartphone with my wife.


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My iPhone is my constant companion, the tool I take advantage of to manage my personal life. Sharing a laptop seems even as crazy as sharing a phone. What completely depends on my MacBook Air and flows through is my work-life. Without constant access to a laptop – and a quick web connection – I’d be as productive as my dog.

Perhaps it’s true that a relentless dependence on tech blinds us to other possibilities. As easily as my home shares a newspaper subscription, there seems to be a critical mass of households who happily share their computers and phones. As they don’t think what they’re doing is all that unusual, these couples don’t announce their allegiance to tech sharing.

Where are the sociologists who are purported to be studying this tech-sharing tribe?

Why will we only hear about the speed of individual technology adoption and not the persistence of technology sharing?

Can you ever imagine a situation where you surrender your personal devices – and instead attempt to share your tech with a partner?

What devices in your home have one owner, and what devices are shared?

To share their technology, are higher ed people less likely than civilians?