Minus the City – Curiosity Killed the Cat

Cary Reed

My eighteen-year-old sister has a crush on her ex-boyfriend. This would be a fine situation, but she also has an extremely possessive current boyfriend who is wary of her lingering attraction to the ex. And an older sister who hates them both.

After hanging out with her ex-boyfriend, my sister ignored her nay-saying premonition and decided that perhaps he wasn’t the lying cheater he was before, and that — since he said so — things must really be over with his ex-girlfriend. While farting around on facebook yesterday, she found evidence to the contrary: a suggestive wall post.

Realizing that hacking into his account is morally wrong by the standards of our generation, she still could not suppress the itch to try and find exactly what it was she did not want to find. A few minutes later, she called me in tears.

Curiosity killed the cat. There’s a reason they say that. But as I listened to my sister’s final realization that this boy is scum, I started to wonder what became of the un-curious cat; without snooping, my sister would have continued to sit na’vely in a bad situation under the spell of this less-than-deserving ex-boyfriend.

Though our paranoia could be fostered by the increasing technological ability to connect with others in secrecy, we cannot make excuses for snooping through each medium. While curiosity did not kill the cat, it did make it begin to foam at the mouth with jealousy and desperation. This is the dawn of emotional suicide: we go in search for what we do not want to find, and, the more we can’t find it, the more we go searching.

My sometimes-philosophical friend Andrea smartly said that if you go looking for something, you’re guaranteed to find (and be upset by) that something. Even if what you’ve found does not logically prove you cannot trust a person, you are willing to bend the information until it coincides with your suspicion.

When you stumble across information, you must assess the situation: is this real or is it an issue that you have created because you went looking for it? And why did you go looking? The real problem lies not so much in what you’ve found, but the fact that you do not trust your relationship. When people need to go snooping, there’s almost always a deeper problem, not so much in the sneaking behavior, but in the fact that — regardless if one finds nothing at all — he or she will continue to distrust the significant other.

Senior Kaitlin Jennison says “talk it out.” If you have a lingering suspicion, bring it up; don’t wait for the emotional turmoil that comes with snooping. Trust, if significantly damaged, is very hard to fully recover. If you have reason to be continuously skeptical about the faithfulness of another, there are larger issues that need to surface before the situation can improve. You do not need to know thirty-seven passwords to fully trust a significant other, but if you do, perhaps you should reevaluate your relationship with the user.