The Growing Trend of Relying on Pictures of ID: Convenience or Risk?

Ella White

Updated Friday, May 10, 2024 at 11:48 PM CDT

The Growing Trend of Relying on Pictures of ID: Convenience or Risk?

The Surprising Number of Young People Opting for Digital ID

In today's digital age, it's becoming increasingly common for young people to forgo carrying physical identification cards and instead rely on having a picture of their ID on their phone. This trend has caught the attention of many, including employees at colleges and universities who are astounded by the number of students who do not carry physical ID. But why do young people think that not having a physical ID is normal?

The Convenience and Peace of Mind of Digital ID

For the younger generation, the convenience of carrying a picture of an ID on their phone cannot be denied. It eliminates the worry of losing or misplacing the physical ID, as well as the need to carry a bulky wallet. With just a few taps, they can easily present their ID whenever required, whether it's for age verification or accessing certain services.

The Challenge Faced by Notaries and the Importance of Physical ID

While the convenience of digital ID is undeniable, it poses challenges for certain professionals, such as notaries. Notaries require an official ID, not a picture of an ID or someone vouching for the person's identity. This reliance on digital ID has led to verbal abuse and threats towards notaries from individuals who do not possess physical ID, highlighting the potential risks and misunderstandings associated with this trend.

The Influence of Technology and Changing Lifestyle

The shift towards relying on pictures of ID can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, younger people are accustomed to having all their documentation on their phone or in a phone wallet-case, making carrying a physical wallet less important. Additionally, the design of many pants with limited or no pockets, coupled with the declining popularity of purses, further contributes to the trend of not carrying a physical wallet.

Furthermore, the increasing prevalence of electronic versions of documents, such as report cards, has led to a lack of experience with official vs. unofficial paper documents. Young people often rely on their parents to keep the original documents, leading them to believe that a picture of the document is sufficient.

The Potential Risks and Consequences

While the convenience of digital ID is appealing, it's crucial for young people to recognize the potential risks involved. Storing all financial information and important documents on a phone can make them vulnerable to theft or damage. Without a physical backup, the loss of a phone could result in the loss of critical identification and personal information.

As young people mature and face situations where official identification is required, they may start to understand the importance of physical ID. The lack of physical backup for important documents on a phone may become a concern as they navigate through more complex life events, such as opening bank accounts, renting apartments, or applying for jobs.

The Need for Education and Awareness

The reliance on pictures of ID among young people may stem from a combination of current trends and youthful ignorance. As they grow older and face the potential consequences of not having physical backup for important documents, they will likely start to recognize the importance of physical ID.

To bridge this gap, it is essential to educate young people about the potential risks and consequences of relying solely on digital ID. Emphasizing the need for physical backup and the importance of official identification in various situations can help them make more informed decisions.

The growing trend of relying on pictures of ID among young people is driven by convenience and the desire to minimize the need for physical belongings. While there are benefits to digital ID, it is crucial for individuals to understand the potential risks and the importance of physical backup for important documents. By striking a balance between convenience and security, young people can navigate the digital world while ensuring they have the necessary identification when it matters most.

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