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So last night I posted this picture on Twitter and there was some significant interest. To be clear, it’s just a mockup, not something that exists. 

I have, several times in my life, found people’s phones and then called or texted people in their contacts to get in touch with the person who owns the phone. There’s nothing more horrible than losing a phone. It’s expensive, inconvenient, and potentially dangerous (if you don’t have a lock on it, passwords are easy to find.)

But if you do have a lock on it, the occasional good Samaritan will be stumped for ways to get the phone back to you. 

I’d much rather there just be a feature that you can turn on to allow someone who found your phone to get in touch with you immediately. Strictly optional, of course, but you can set it up to allow the nice person to send you an email, text your mom, call your house…whatever. 

I once knocked on a stranger’s door to let them know that their headlights were on. The car was in the driveway, headlights blaring into the street. I knocked, and they came to the door, but they were too scared to open it because we now live in a world where everyone is seen immediately as a villain. I imagine that person woke up to a dead battery the next morning, but I did what I could.

That was that person’s choice. But as a person with Toby Turner’s phone number in my phone, I need to have a passcode for his privacy, not to mention mine. But I also don’t want to eliminate the possibility that, if I lose my phone, the person who finds it will, in fact, be a good person and spend a little bit of time reaching out to me to save me hours of headache and hundreds of dollars. 

I believe people are good, and I think this little piece of screen real estate conveys that faith. And maybe if someone finds a phone and sees that, yes, in fact, kindness is expected of them, kindness is what we’ll get.

Please reblog and RT so that developers and phone companies can implement the idea if they agree that it’s a good one.

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