Close Reading: Screenshots

We tell our students of the importance of maintaining a safe, long-view oriented presence online, but what would happen if our phones were taken or observed by someone who didn’t know us? What would give them clues?

I wanted to find out, so I’ve uploaded a few screenshots from my phone yesterday. I’ll post them as a gallery so if you want to use them without my commentary, you can. (Thanks to Morten Hendrickson for introducing me to galleries at WCNYC’14)

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Let’s start with my lock screen.


I’m pretty much perpetually running in low battery mode, because I go to plug in my phone and get away from it for a while, but then I think of something I want to look up or get others’ perspectives on, and then I head back into the bedroom to unplug it.

((Irene I am Sherlocked pic))

Depending on your schema, you might also recognize the art as the Blessing of Worlds emblem from the video game Destiny. It’s been my lock screen for as long as I can remember, which supports the idea that I’m not much invested in the visual aesthetics of my phone. I couldn’t get a shot of my phone case to deduce from that (because I’m too wimpy-fingered to prise it off), but I’m definitely not one of those people who have a dozen or more cases (tho I wish I were).


From my home screen, you can see I’ve kept the default Apple background, which perhaps is an indicator that I’m not deeply invested in the aesthetics of my iphone in the same way that, say, I was obsessed in the late 90s/early aughts with crafting the perfect AIM combination of text font, size, and color (Times New Roman bold in a deep green color, in case you were curious).


From this second of two homescreen pages, I’m VERY interested in what you think of my app downloading habits.


(Irene adler in white dress and phone smiling))


Selfieeeeee. It’s taken on the porch, which if you know me, means I’m writing in my journal and probably sipping some tea. (I’ve had to cut out all but decaf coffee because of med interactions)

Clothing is a costume for me.

((Image of Sherlock in firefighter costume in bedroom)


This is the screenshot that made me really start getting excited about this post. You want to talk about elevator pitches? I feel like people can get a pretty clear picture of who I am and what I value just from this one image.

Marie Curie? Bucky Fuller? Splitting my time between Seattle and Michigan (no one’s emerald city)? It’s all there in one portrait-rotated image. “No matter the costume, it’s always a self-portrait.”

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Twitter is amazing.


This is my about page on Facebook. I feel like it speaks for itself, which is kind of the point. The fact that I didn’t “write about myself” there speaks to my reticence toward being too self-promoting in my work and my life.

((John Watson “nothing ever happens to me”))

You may notice that there’s only one quote that isn’t attributed. The person who said it was Dr. Stephens, who for many, many years was both my mom’s and my OB/GYN. He’s the man who managed my parents’ care while they tried for a decade to conceive yours truly. I was hesitant to post his name because I didn’t want people to think that I was  bragging about a PhD fellow thinking I can have and do whatever I want, because that sounded grandiose to the extreme.

The funny thing is that now, in 2016 (he passed in 2005), rereading this quote makes me think immediately of Teachers Who Game. “The world is yours to play with.” Isn’t that lovely? Life is our most important game.

Here’s hoping this has been an enjoyable endeavor!