By Court Sullivan

DAYTON, OH — Just three weeks into their relationship, Jason Pinkney has already told girlfriend Ericka Schulman his school computer password. Now, two days later, he is having his share of doubts.

Pinkney, a sophomore at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and Schulman, a freshman, started dating exclusively just two days after meeting at an off-campus apartment party about three weeks ago. Since then, the two have shared a few campus meals, late nights at the library, and drunken sleepovers, but little intimacy or trust, according to Pinkney.

“She called me all in a rush a few days ago from the library saying her password wasn't working and she really needed to log on to one of the computers to finish a paper,” the 19-year-old Pinkney told his roommate, Jeremy Siegel, in a pre-sleep fit of anxiety Tuesday. “I can't believe she put me on the spot like that. I don't know why I told her. I don't even know her horoscope yet.”


Pinkney anxiously checks the history on his emails.

Pinkney hesitantly admitted that ever since sophomore year in high school when he activated his AOL account, he made it a point to use the same password for all of his computer activities, including his school network, email, and instant messenger accounts.

“It's not only about the library computers, you know. It's like, all my passwords are the same for everything I've ever done on the computer.”

“We've only been going out for a few weeks so I started thinking, what if we have a bitter breakup and she goes off and writes nasty emails from my account and then signs on to my IM and bitches out all my friends and then changes all my passwords or steals my credit card information or…I don't know…I just feel so vulnerable right now.”

Pinkney said he really doesn't know Schulman well enough yet to say whether she is the vengeful type.

“This has definitely put me under a lot of pressure to keep the relationship going. It's like my whole online identity is up in the air right now.”

Pinkney said the first thing he plans to do is devise a new, longer password with a complex series of numbers and letters. “Tomorrow I'm gonna think of a super-hard password that noone would ever remember, then I can start changing all my accounts one by one. I just hope she doesn't find out that I hooked up with this other girl at the Kappa Alpha party a few days after we were ‘technically' dating.”

Siegel, Pinkney's roommate for the past two years, said Pinkney never used to worry about his computer privacy until the other night.

“Sometimes I would borrow his computer and he always had his log on information saved. One time I even signed on to his IM name and talked to one of his high school friends. It was so funny because this girl totally thought it was him. But I mean, I eventually told her, so it wasn't a big deal.”

Siegel expressed sincere concern for Pinkney, but placed full blame on his roommate.

“Yesterday, Jase came right in from class and spent like four hours changing all this stuff on his computer. Now I can't even turn it on to borrow it in the morning because it asks for some ‘Windows Log On' password. He's definitely gotten pretty paranoid lately. But still, I can't believe he told her his password.”

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