EXCLUSIVE: The ’lost’ cell phone project, and the dark things it says about us

EXCLUSIVE: The ’lost’ cell phone project, and the dark things it says about us.

By Bob Sullivan

What would you do if you found a smart phone on the subway or at a coffee shop? If you’re like most Americans, you’d rummage through the phone looking for photos, emails and even private banking information. And the chances are only 50-50 that you would try to return the phone. (more in article above)

phone thief


The good sisters at the  Catholic book store I worked at many years ago used to say “locks only help to keep honest people honest.” They took the line from the Lord’s prayer seriously: “Lead me not into temptation…and deliver us from evil.” Avoiding temptation has pulled my fat from the fire many a time. Of course there are the times that I go looking for temptation, but that’s another story.

I don’t know what I did before I had my handy-dandy Iphone. It runs my life. Reminds me about appointments a day and then an hour in advance. Tells me when to take a pill, turn the water off in the backyard, take the teabags out of the hot water so I don’t over steep the ice tea. The map function is a can’t live without benefit. But I don’t even have the darn thing password protected. Why? Because it’s inconvenient. How lazy is that?

Losing my phone and having my entire life flash before a thief’s eyes is way more inconvenient.  The article above has led to me rethink my security policy. My little helper now has a pass code with the “erase all data on phone after 10 failed pass code attempts” featured enabled. This change will also be a kick in the behind to back up my phone on a regular basis. Something I’ve been a tad lax about.

Would I be an honest citizen? I certainly hope so. But I would have to look through the phone to find out who it belongs to. Maybe my phone needs a label on the back or something, just to help an honest person be honest. We all need help now and then.

12 responses

  1. I found an iPhone in a backpack full of nice gym clothes & a new pair of tennis shoes in the trunk of a rental car. Called Avis to say the previous driver of that Corolla left some good stuff and was told not to worry about it. But what about the phone? I’d be lost without mine. It had already been wiped, so I guess the owner gave up on finding it.

    1. Told not to worry? That’s a rather odd response. Makes me re-think using Avis.

  2. Great closing line.

    1. LOL thanks, sometimes I need help more than the average bear.

  3. There are phones now (not sure which one, think the iPhone is one) that can be erased remotely if you lose them. Of course, by the time you realise it is lost, your secrets may have been posted all over the web (including photographic evidence of any temptations you did not resist. 🙂

    But it is a thought……

    1. That’s why I opted for the “if password is entered incorrectly 10 times, erase all data” option. I gave myself 10 tries because it might just take me that many times if I do it before coffee.

      1. LOL! Mine only has a password when you turn it on. If I lose mine, I am in trouble!

        1. Mine is set to go to sleep after 30 seconds and then needs a password, except to turn off a timer or alarm, or to make an emergency phone call, like ambulance or fire.

  4. if you have an iPhone I think you can erase your data remotely in case you lose it, I can do it with my iPod and I believe they work the same way.
    Maybe it`s a good idea a little sticker on it.

    1. Yea that’s a great idea. But I harbor a secret fear that I would not notice my phone was really gone for several days 😉

  5. I’m a big believer in privacy and personal space. I’d try to identify the owner and return it. I’ve been the recipient of the same treatment, and would want to pass it on.

    1. Good for you! I’m glad to hear that. I’m a firm believer in what goes around come around.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: