Anonymous asked realsocialskills:Hi… I have a suggestion I’d really like to see: a post with more about people asking to borrow your computer and similar issues and why this…
I know the fact that I make visual art with my computer has made it come to seem like an extension of my brain. It’s not difficult to imagine others feeling this way. Most of the people I know have good computer boundaries, but some people may not even know what is and is not a problem. A few years back a friend’s partner asked to look something up on my computer and I said “sure,” unaware myself that they wouldn’t even process the firefox icon as being an internet browser. Fifteen minutes of Internet Explorer browsing later, I was stuck with spyware and general weirdness that resulted in a complete re-install of Windows. I’ll take partial credit for that mess, as I could have hopped over and opened firefox, but at the same time I wonder *how* they could have done all that while trying to look up an address on google maps and checking e-mail.
I liked this thread because it helped me put words to why I don’t like lending people my phone.
A couple of kids on the street the other day asked if they could borrow my phone to make a call, even offered to pay me and “you can hold my wallet while I do it. I’m not gonna run off with it.” (Not that it would do anyone much good to run off with my beat-up, blurry-screened, five year old flipphone.) I told them sorry, I didn’t have any minutes. Which was a lie because obviously I have Unlimited Everything.
I felt like kind of an asshole after they walked off. If they’d asked me for a cigarette, or directions, or money, or even a cup of coffee, I would’ve said yes without hesitation. But I just don’t like anyone else touching my phone unless we’re very, very intimate.
On the flipside of this, my current computer was a gift from someone I love, a hand-me-down that has all kinds of wear on the keyboard and case from his years of use, and I’m particularly attached to it for that reason. It makes me feel connected to him. :-)
Someone who puts intense pressure on you to let you use their phone, and who says “I’m not going to steal it or anything” probably in fact has every intention of stealing your phone.