A few years ago, a couple of researchers at a university lost their wallets.
Over and over again.
It’s not that they were chronically forgetful or really unlucky – they lost them deliberately.
They were doing an experiment to test what would make people most likely to bother to return the wallets.
What they found was that having a photo – maybe of a family or a loved one – in the wallet made a big difference – it made a lot more people hand them back.
It’s interesting. My theory (for what it’s worth, which might be nothing!) is that seeing the photo makes whoever’s found the wallet think of the person who’s lost it as a real person, so they are more likely to put the effort in to track them down to return it.
Why am I telling you this, given that my emails are supposed to be about technology rather than lost wallets? Well, I don’t see why this wouldn’t apply to phones as well. So many people have mobiles now that even if most people don’t lose them, the small proportion who do lose them could still be a lot of people.
And although I haven’t done an experiment like the one I mentioned, I bet including a photo of a family or loved one in the case would make it more likely to be returned, just like it does with wallets.
Of course, having a phone number they can call if it’s lost (not the number of the mobile!) written on a bit of paper in the phone case might help too.
Not all cases have somewhere to tuck a little photo – some do, but some don’t. If yours doesn’t you could still put a sticker on the back, at least with a phone number to call if lost.
But you might even find that having a photo of family as your “lock screen” (the one that comes up when you turn it on) might help. I must admit, though, I’ve just got a picture of the boys tucked in the case I keep my phone in.
It might mean if I even lose my phone I get it back again and it gives me a little smile every time I see it when I pull my phone out of my pocket.
(And it might be worth doing the same with your wallet or purse – just in case.)
Doro books now in stock
Doro Smartphones One Step at a Time has now arrived from the printers – we have a big pile of them sat in the warehouse.
If you’ve already ordered a copy, it’ll be on its way to you later today.
If you have Doro phone and haven’t ordered a copy, I’m not planning to mention the books again, so you might want to read more here.