What does your phone say about you?

Posted by cellcontrol

Some news from last week revealed that according to scientists, our lifestyle can be deduced by the chemicals found on the surface of our mobile phones. It certainly takes the focus away from the more common technological-related concerns surrounding personal data, but just how seriously should we take this?

Pieter Dorrestein, co-author of the research from the University of California, is quoted as saying: “You can narrow down male versus female; if you then figure out they use sunscreen then you pick out the [people] that tend to be outdoorsy – so all these little clues can sort of narrow down the search space of candidate people for an investigator.”


Revealing that each person has a distinct “signature” set of chemicals on their hands, the research claims that when overlapping with those found on phones, the devices can be distinguished from each other and matched to their owners.


The authors hope that this approach could eventually be extended to produce a wide-ranging database used by police to predict the lifestyle of an individual – thus targeting crime.


Which is all well and good, but according to another university study, we don’t need to get so forensically involved in the nitty gritty of chemicals as merely looking at a phone alone can speak volumes about its owner.


As reported by Sky News, researchers from the University of Lincoln found that owners of a Google Android phone are more honest, humble and kinder than those who choose iPhones.


According to Heather Shaw, from the University’s School of Psychology, “Smartphone choice is the most basic level of smartphone personalisation, and even this can tell us a lot about the user.

Imagine if we further researched how personality traits relate to the applications people download.

It is becoming more and more apparent that smartphones are becoming a mini digital version of the user, and many of us don’t like it when other people use our phones because it can reveal so much about us.”


The research was echoed by TalkTalk Mobile, which also found Blackberry owners to share the ‘kinder’ traits with Android users – adding that they also earn the most, are more likely to have long-term relationships and are the least punctual, according to the Daily Mail. Android owners were, however, found to watch more TV and drink the most alcohol out of the three mobile giants, whilst iPhone users were most likely to describe themselves as flirty or clever.


Director of Mobile at TalkTalk, Dan Meader, is quoted as saying: “Many of us have our mobile phones on us almost constantly so they do become an extension of us in many ways. It’s interesting to see then how the choice in handset may reflect different aspects of personality and the results do reveal some quirky differences. Once you see yourself as a certain type of phone user, it can become a huge part of the way you live your life and people tend to subscribe to the one they feel suits them best. Of course, simply buying a certain type of phone doesn’t mean your personality or way of living immediately changes, but the results could suggest that certain types of personality are drawn to different features and functions of certain handsets.”


No matter what the handset – or the chemicals on it – do, or do not, say about you, one thing’s for sure: When it comes to driving, the only thing it should reveal is just how boring you are, as you give the road your full attention. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! J


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