I don’t know Mitchell, but I do know he was sitting next to me on the SkyTrain this morning. I know this without having spoken to him and without interacting with him in any way at all.
How did I know his name? Was he wearing a name tag? Did someone nearby shout out to him, “Yo Mitchell dawg, what’s up?”
The answer to these questions is no.
I found out his name because I was writing a blog post on my phone. Yes, it was the magic (and menace) of technology.
The Ulysses app allows me to compose WordPress posts and send them magically to my blog to be published. On the iPhone this is done through the export function. But the first time you use it, the default is to open the share sheet. One of the options that appears here is AirDrop, Apple’s way of allowing iPhone users to easily share files.
And lo, there was Mitchell’s iPhone. He was indeed using his iPhone. I thought about sharing my blog post just to see how he’d react, but opted not to. But it also made me think how people could use AirDrop to creep on others.
Scenario: Unrelated man and woman sit beside each other on train, both have AirDrop enabled. Man opens up Photos app and goes to the share sheet after selecting a particularly appalling example of his manhood. He then opts to AirDrop it to the woman sitting next to him. She puts his phone in a place one might have considered physically impossible.
She could just choose not to accept, but you still get a preview of the image, so Unwitting Commuter is still going to see something grossbuckets before declining. I should test this sometime to see just how it works with someone you theoretically don’t know. With a picture of a kitten, you pervs.
Anyway, now I’m kind of wondering how Mitchell’s day is going.