You can infer interesting things about someone by what they’ve chosen as their phone wallpaper.
It’s not like a room in your home where you can hang all the pictures you want, or an old wallet with a place for photos. Your phone’s lock screen is a 140-character Tweet of your personal space. It offers one choice to display something that inspires you, comforts you, makes you laugh, or connects with you on some level. If we’re exposed to thousands of commercial images every day, the one image you’re confronted with more than any other can be a subconscious anchor, or reset button for the eyes.
I recently asked my friends about their wallpaper. Their answers told me something about each of them. Some of the themes were:
- Preservation of a place, moment, memory or dream
- Personal creations
- Borrowed creations
- Living things that are or were important
- Challenges and reminders
- Meaningful symbols
- Fantasies and ideals
How often people changed them said something else. A lot of them maintained the same wallpaper for years. Some were even carried across to new phones. It doesn’t mean these people are resistant to change. It might say something about the comforting presence of a constant. This particular constant happens to be nailed to the front door of a device that serves as a portal to a changing world.