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What Your iPhone Can Teach You About Trust

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Nearly every day, I plug my iPhone into my computer at the office. My phone has about a six and a half minute battery life these days, so avoiding the dreaded plug in is not an option.

When I do, a little box pops up on the phone screen that makes me click "Trust" or "Don't Trust." It's essentially asking if I trust this computer to sync with my phone. Some part of me swallows hard each time I have to choose.

I have to actually click one of the options or I can't move forward. I hate this little feature. If I didn't know better, I'd think the phone was mocking me. With an all-knowing smirk it says, "I know trust isn't your thing, but I'm going to make you say it out loud, you coward."

I've found that life is more like this little feature than not. I don't want to choose to trust or not trust; I just want life to be safe. I don't want to look at my own vulnerability. I want all connections to be secure and all needs fulfilled without a bunch of frustrating reboots.

In addition to not wanting to trust, I can connect and never be in sync. Syncing is the act of "bringing two devices up-to-date with each other."

We connect through Facebook, grab a quick lunch together, spend an evening with friends, but that doesn't mean we are in sync. It doesn't mean we are up-to-date with another. If we don't seek to trust (or seek to be trustworthy), it simply means we were geographically nearer to one another than usual or that someone saw my 140 carefully chosen characters on their Twitter feed.

At some point, if I want to recharge, connect and move forward, I've got to click "Trust." I've got to look another person in the eye and allow them to see all my settings. I need to let them see all the messy stuff left on my hard drive by others.

Trust is so vulnerable. So exposed. So tender and soft. When it's real -- when there is trust and individuals are in sync -- it's the most inspiring, powerful experience on the planet.

One benefit of that annoying little prompt is it reminds me that not everyone is worthy of trust. It must be earned. We are leery when we've trusted someone in the past only to discover that our entire system crashed because of the connection. When trust is violated, a safe reboot can be a length process and often times we need professionals to assist us in areas we don't understand how to de-bug.

The prompt reminds me to be cautious and alert. Is it safe for me to connect? Just because it recharges me doesn't mean it's good for my system in the long run.

Many times a day we are asked to trust in subtle and not so subtle ways.

When my phone goads me to look at my heart with its "Trust/Don't Trust" prompt, I will examine closely who I am connecting to before I agree to click. When I plug in my phone and it taunts me, I will remember the beauty of risk and connection and the power it provides.

To trust or not to trust that is the question. Perhaps your phone knows the answer...