I had the idea for this post a while ago, but never got around to actually write it. Either my life was too busy or I was not motivated enought (in other words: I was slacking). But than this tweet from @AriaAdagio and the following short conversation we had on twitter prompted me to finally gather my thoughts in this post and asking for your stance on this issue. Not to run a representative survey or something, I’m just curious. And I’m not even asking what stuff you do have stored on your phone :-) I’m more interested in who do you let have a look or even use your (smart)phone?
Because recently I’ve noticed that I am more and more reluctant to relinquish my phone into somebody else’s hand even for just a few moments. Especially somebody I don’t know very well or somebody who I don’t want to find out more about me than necessary and definitely not into the hands of those somebodies who don’t consider the internet part of their everyday life of communication, information and entertainment like I do. I hate (or well at least dislike) the whole “Twitter? Facebook? What’s the use of *that*?” discussion which I had to endure with several folks in my circle of acquaintance or family. I really don’t need them to see and inquire about the “tiny blue bird” icon on my phone and start it all over again.
Until a few weeks ago I had thought that I had to root my Android phone to use a launcher software to change the look of the screens and icons and such. But that’s obviously not necessary at all, so I started using Go Launcher and really like that with this I can change the look and feel of a lot of things on my phone. I admit to have been thrilled when I realized that I could easily “hide” some apps in a second “dock page” (the icons at the bottom of the screen which are usually fixed and can’t be changed) and could easily switch between those pages. Yes, I admit I might be a bit paranoid about that stuff. It’s just who I am, I’m paranoid about a lot of things :-).
There also is the fact that I have passwords stored on the phone (i.e. in the apps) because I don’t want to have to fill in user name and password every time I want to check my mail or my feed reader. But I really don’t want anyone who asks me to have look at my phone for various (and probably valid reasons) to accidently read my mails, tweets or see what feeds I’ve subscribed to. So, yes, I’ve become very reluctant to let my phone out of my hands.
[Update: Of course I have my phone locked, to not have just anyone have access it, but my “problem” *g* are those people I know and who want to have a look for actually rather innocent reasons, if you know what I mean]
And then I was wondering when that had actually started. And if that’s normal behaviour for any smartphone owner. And why I’m more concerned about privacy protection in regards to my phone than I am in regards to my purse or my wallet. I don’t consider anything I’ve got in my purse or my wallet too private for anyone else to see. Well, I don’t want anyone jotting down the number of my credit card of course :-), but that might be the extent of it.
When did an electronic gadget become part of my private personality, that needs protection? Probably the moment it turned into being more than a phone but more into a tiny computer. I don’t necessarily want to see just anyone what’s on my harddrives etc there either. But as the computer is located in the privacy of my apartment, I’m on the safe side there. The phone is much more accessible. I have it on my desk at the office or use it in front of my family and all that. And I always cringe on the inside when someone asks me if they could have a look at my phone, because they’re thinking about getting a new one similar to mine. But I can’t flat out refuse to let them have a look at it and try out how to use it, can I? Hence my happiness about being able of “hide” some of the stuff for the unexperienced eye to see.
But I’m still wondering: Is it just me? How do you handle the privacy of phone issue? Do you even care? I’m really curious to know, so leave me your view of things in the comments, if you’d like…