I hate passwords. Yet they’re everywhere—the apps on our phone, programs on our computer, PIN code on our debit card, and even the key pad on our garage door. Only someone with a photographic memory could remember all of life’s passwords. And the problem is even worse because we’re supposed to change them every month or so.
However, my war against passwords unexpectedly took a positive turn last year. My employer gave me a new Apple iPhone 6, and one of the features is a “touch ID fingerprint sensor.” Instead of having to remember my password, as I had to do with my Samsung Galaxy s4, all I have to do is press my thumb or finger onto the sensor.
Wow. It’s amazing how exhilarating this is. No more passwords to remember for my phone! All I need is my thumb or fingerprint, and the iPhone 6 recognizes who I am.
There’s an important principle of life here. When you create a password, it’s like devising a false identity. Whether you use the name of your dog, your spouse, or your favorite NFL player, the password is not really “you.” So it’s no wonder you might struggle to remember it.
But false identities are nothing new. Teens use fake IDs to purchase booze or gain access to nightclubs. Singles post false photos and inaccurate profiles on online dating sites. People apply for jobs with fabricated credentials on their resume.
Just like a password, these fictitious identities are all about getting access to something we want. The problem is, when you lie about who you really are, you’re prone to forget what the truth is. Just like a forgotten password, you must try to regain your real identity.
If I ruled the world, I would abolish passwords and require fingerprint sensors everywhere instead. No need to show your driver’s license or passport to the TSA when boarding a plane—just press your thumb onto the sensor. And instead of constantly having to change your password to prevent identity theft, you would just use your never-changing fingerprint.
Best of all, your fingerprint represents who you really are. It can enable you to gain access based on your true identity rather than some fabricated word or name. That’s the only kind of access worth having, isn’t it?