Recently one of my daughters lost her wallet. Nicole was in Canberra at the time. She had been with a friend to a cafe in Lonsdale Street, Braddon, a food and shopping strip popular with locals and visitors. Soon after leaving and walking several blocks to where her car was parked, she opened her handbag to retrieve her phone. When she did, she realised that her wallet was not in her bag. A quick check of her pockets confirmed the wallet was lost. After a brief moment of panic, she and her friend retraced their steps that morning. They realised that Nicole had had her wallet in the cafe they had just been to—she had taken it out to pay but her friend had insisted on paying for the meal. Roughly 30 minutes had passed since then and the wallet could be any number of places by now.
While hurrying back to the cafe, Nicole received a message on her phone. It was from someone she did not know, seeking to connect via Facebook’s Messenger app. Given the circumstances, she accepted the invitation and received a message from a young man saying he had found her wallet on the ground near the cafe she and her friend had been to, and had handed it in to cafe staff for her to collect.
He had been able to contact her by checking her driver’s licence details then searching for her on Facebook. He used her licence photo to identify the correct Facebook user, then sent her a message.
Nicole and her friend arrived at the cafe a few minutes later and collected the wallet. She did not meet the man who helped her that day but was able to thank him via the Messenger app.
I’m sharing this story because it highlights the incredible power and reach of a device that has become almost ubiquitous—the smart phone. Most of us now carry one with us everywhere we go. It also underscores the ‘connectedness’ of our digital world, and more particularly, those we label Gen Y or Millennials.
- Last year I posted a similar story—about my daughter Lauren losing then recovering her iPhone. You can read that story here.