For the past eight years, I’ve had the same phone screensaver. It’s a photo of my granddaughter, Reagan, when she was just one day old, holding my right index finger with her tiny little hand. I’ve promised her I will never take it off until she asks me to (maybe to be replaced with her wedding photo or a great grandchild?).
But if my informal survey of the last couple of years holds true across the entire population, the screen saver of most mobile phones is not grandchildren or any other human beings. By a huge margin, the number one thing I see on people’s phones are images of family pets.
People are proud to share screensavers of their pets when I’m just a friendly seatmate on an airplane or when we cross paths at various events and locations ranging from sporting events (I’ve had neighbors in seats at the Super Bowl, Indy 500, and Kentucky Derby share pet photos) to the grocery store. But when they find out I’m a veterinarian (and a famous one at that), then they are about as excited as their own pets when the treat drawer opens up.
Not only do their energy levels go up to the three Red Bull-level, they next get into their pet album folder and show me dozens of images ranging from home and vacation to action shots, and what one called “urban shots,” as in, their dog on the street in town.
There’s one guaranteed reaction when this exchange happens. We both smile and become closer than we would have if we hadn’t shared this affection-connection as portrayed in phone photos.
So tell me: What’s on your phone’s screensaver?