They have 2 smartphones

I noticed that, in Europe, some people wear two smartphones. I see them regularly in public transport. I also know some relatives who have 2 phones, although they somewhat try to hide it.

I am not entirely sure why they have two phones because they don’t really want to talk about it, but it seems that they want to keep 2 separate facebook accounts, one for their family and one for their friends. One explained me that he wanted to keep a dating application separate from his normal facebook account. He is divorced, BTW, so it is not as if he were cheating on his wife.
They are private phones. A corporate, work phone would come extra (I have seen people with 2 smartphones and a blackberry…).

I somewhat understand the attraction of extra privacy. I would not want my mother to see facebook “friends” that would I would met from a dating site, for example. Fortunately, my mother does not use facebook and I am past the age for dating sites. I am actually not really sure how dating sites work nowadays, but I believe that they all want to link to facebook.

My question: is having two phones and two facebook accounts is also common in the USA? Do you know people that keep 2 phones in this way?

1 Like

Good god, I take a monthly stipend and let corporate call my personal cell. I do not want to carry more crap than I need to.

Yes, I know a few folks who carry two or more phones, but that would be the minority in my circle.


I know a few people who keep two phones but it is to keep personal and work contacts seperate, mostly people I work with who do social work and therapy.


When my workplace would provide a phone (and no stipend was available) I would carry two phones. One for work, one for personal. I didn’t mind it overly much, but I rarely had both out at once.

I would never carry two for personal reasons. Well, OK , maybe. But only if one were a dirt cheap $10 android phone I was tinkering with in a way it might brick my regular phone.


Also worth mentioning, I have seen in Japan people both young and old carrying 2-3 phones. I also have no idea why.

I would not say they are a majority, but this happens sufficiently often on public transport for me to notice it. Not latter than tonight in the tube: there was a woman with two iphones with different case color (one pink and one gold), apparently used FB on the first, then changed phone and texted on the second. I guess it was FB from the color of the heading, I could not read from the distance (which I would not have done, I don’t want to read the details of private conversations from strangers). She was American, BTW. The train had to brake suddenly, she almost lost her balance and let a typical US swear word pass her lips…
I also noticed that she carefully put the two phones in two separate pockets of her purse, so she was definitely organised with two phones.


For goodness sakes, you don’t want to make arrangements with your drug dealer from your work number or sext your mistress from the same phone you use to call your wife. It’s called professionalism.


I can easily imagine having one phone for communication and a different one for playing music on my stereo. But that is not the behavior you describe.

1 Like

You probably don’t want to make arrangements with your drug dealer from a smartphone, a device almost designed to make sure whatever you do will be leaked to all your contacts… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Here in Brazil, and probably in other countries where worrying about phone call and SMS costs are not a thing of the past (I believe China is like that as well) the standard cell phone plan is a “free unlimited calls to people using the same carrier, expensive per-minute calls to everyone else” type deal. So it’s not uncommon for people to have two different phones with SIM cards from different carriers for purely economic reasons. It’s also quite common to ask people for their carrier along with their number so you know how expensive it would be to call them and plan accordingly. Capitalism!

The cost of texting isn’t important because everyone switched to WhatsApp as a free SMS alternative.


I solve the problem of not mixing my separate social media accounts by not having any social media accounts.


You ever try to do a line of coke off a flip phone??


That is a good reason, but isn’t the explanation in the countries I am thinking about. Still: thanks for the reminder, it explains why Chinese phones usually can use two sim cards.

1 Like

Also, companies are increasingly having employees install spyware (airwatch et al) on the phones that can access corporate email and networks.


I don’t quite understand what airwatch does but it sounds fishy.

It’s basically a centralized way to remote lock, wipe, and randomly screenshot/inventory your phone/laptop/etc. among other things.


Work and personal are 2 separate things. Doing work things on the personal phone, a smart phone doubly so is a big security risk.


A few scenarios I’m aware of:

  • Salesperson or otherwise outbound corporate employee have a second work phone.
  • Same case can apply to certain independent or freelance workers or people with multiple jobs. One person I know has three phones, one for each of two businesses he runs and one personal phone.
  • In some cases it is people who are firewalling different aspects of their lives: family vs work vs stuff that neither family nor work should know about.

@JonBristow (and @AndreStmaur) AirWatch and other mobile device management software are essential tools from the corporate security POV. If a mobile phone contains address book information of internal employee names and phone numbers, in Japan and parts of Europe that qualifies as “Personal Data” and absofreakinlutely has to be able to be managed/protected from unauthorized access. If the mobile device has corporate data or even access to corporate data, again absofreakinlutely it needs to be remotely managable. Another case is the desire to prevent unauthorized software from being installed on company hardware.

Calling MDM kit “spyware” is rather disingenuous if its not your phone that its deployed on.


Yes, but it’s not widely discussed. Mostly it’s because people want a reliable persistent number that they can, for whatever reason, give to people whom they don’t trust enough to give their primary cell phone number to. There are other reasons, but that seems the most common. Disclaimer, my opinion is based on anecdotal experience and not comprehensive study.

When the company expects you to BYOD, it’s definitely spyware.

EDIT: I mean, I get WHY, but the fact that a lot of them can keylog/screenshot at a human admins request makes it way more untrustworthy. it’s only a couple steps away from the badges that record speech and gps data.