Why Your Cellphone is Like Your Toothbrush

Great observation from Shannon Chatlos at CampaignTech: mobile devices are like your toothbrush, in that they’re deeply personal. She was talking in the context of political targeting, since reaching someone on a cellphone is far more immediate and even intimate than hitting them via a desktop or laptop. Shannon’s follow-up quote elaborated the point: “You don’t share your toothbrush, and you don’t share your mobile phone.”

We’ve talked about the personal nature of mobile communications on Epolitics.com before, but mainly in the context of sending text messages. Shannon expands that to other forms of communications, including advertising, and you might make a similar argument for Twitter messages consumed on a cellphone (though in that case, Twitter’s particularities as a medium might override the broader characteristics of mobile comms in general). The more-personal relationship we have with our mobile critters goes a long way toward explaining why mobile communications can have such immediacy…and why a communicator who intrudes on that circle in a way that’s perceived to be inappropriate can face blowback.


Written by
Colin Delany
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