By Yuki Noguchi
Spotify wars? Netflix retribution? NPR shows how breakups can affect your jointly shared accounts.
A couple of years ago, Aleta Dignard-Fung got dumped by her boyfriend.
“It was a pretty bad breakup,” says the 20-year-old graphic design student, who lives in Las Vegas.
Only later did she remember that he still had the password to her streaming music account.
“Part of getting over someone is being able to listen to your jams in the shower and maybe cry or something like that,” says Dignard-Fung, who at the time was into Justin Bieber. “I’d just blast my music in the shower, and then it’d change and it’d start playing Bulgarian folk music because he’s Bulgarian.”
She jumped in and out of the shower, changing the music back as they continued battling for control, pushing each other off the shared account. “It was just kind of like the Spotify wars, and we’d just spend like 10 minutes trying to override each other’s songs,” Dignard-Fung says.
Breaking up is hard to do — made harder for some who share streaming music and video profiles.
The expression “Netflix and chill” isn’t just code for date night. It speaks volumes about how closely relationships entwine with digital life. But unwinding these entanglements can get messy after a breakup. Some spurned lovers exact revenge by changing the password just as their ex reaches the climactic season finale.
Either way, it’s not just love that is lost; it’s also playlists, movie recommendations and passwords.
Accessing those accounts after a split can trigger sorrow and longing. Getting blocked by an ex has the ring of permanent goodbye, says Susan Winter, a relationship coach and author.
“Those are the last little pieces to crumble that signify, ‘Oh, we really aren’t connected anymore,’ ” Winter says.
Unless, of course, you remain connected but don’t realize it, and your ex lurks around, incognito.
“I had a client who was trying desperately to get his ex back, and they shared an account on OpenTable,” Winter says. “And even though they were separated, she never changed it, so he would track where she went to see if she was on a date.”