IFoundYourCamera was featured in an article by Brad Stone in the Apr. 8 edition of the New York Times.

A reader commented on my quote that when people are given the opportunity to the right thing, they'll take it. The reader questioned the statistic, and said that although they go out of their way to return lost items, their lost items have never been returned.

What do you think? Do you think people will do the right thing when given the opportunity? And if your lost camera hasn't been returned yet, do you write it off as stolen, or think that it just hasn't been found yet?

Please discuss.

You can reading the New York Times article by clicking here

15 comments:

Cath said...

I think, most of the time, people will try to do the right thing. However, I've been shaken in this belief by recent events.

I stupidly left a ziplock bag full of Gameboy cartridges outside of a gate in an airport, and didn't realize it until the plane was already in the air. When we landed, I hustled over to baggage claim, where they called back to my original airport and, miracle of miracles, they had my bag! I left my contact number and etc. so that I could catch my bus, and the lady said I would get a call in about two days about shipment.

That call never happened. When I called back on the fourth day (giving them some leeway), they said they had no record on file, no physical games, and my tracking code that I had been given was too long for the computer's system.

So yeah. I'm not sure what to think now.

Flor said...

I'm an optimist. I believe MOST people do go out of their way to find the owner (the ones that don't are either thieves or mean) but with cameras there isn't really a good way to find an owner, until now.

Think about it, if you find a camera on the street or something, how do you go about finding the owner? Most people ask around, maybe stand there for a bit to see if the owner comes back, but unless you have some contact number, you won't be able to return it. So, I write mine off as stolen.

Even now, not everyone knows about this site. But, I believe the people who do will try to use this site to return them.

Nicole said...

As always, it depends on the person. Some people are not bad, but they just can't be bothered (which often applies to recycling and the like).

David said...

I like to think most people do the right thing. It's the minority that ruin it for us all. We know where we lost our camera, but the person who would have found it won't admit it. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I think it is generally true. While visiting a park in the Santa Clara area in 1986 I drove off with my wallet on top of my car. Six months later it was sent back to me in the mail with the cash and all credit cards but no note. So I could not thank the person who found it - I'm not even sure they took any money to pay to send it back to me.

megan said...

I wrote my camera off as stolen, because it literally was, at gun point. That guy OBVIOUSLY wouldn't "do the right thing." But there's always two sides to a coin and I subscribe to your blog thinking one day someone might come into possession of that stolen camera and at least want to send me the card from it.
So I believe it's 50/50 out there. Half will do the right thing and half will just screw you over.
But then again, if I never do see that card again, I might feel differently. We'll see...

Lizet said...

I do believe that people will do the right thing in returning lost property to the rightful owner.

3 yrs ago I left my wallet (full of credit cards, lots of cash, my ID AND my social security card!) on a newspaper stand in Phoenix International Airport and while it did take 4 months for someone to contact me about it, I got it back with everything still in it.

since then I have lost smaller things that have been just as important as my wallet and haven't gotten them back, I still believe that people will return lost items to those they belong to - or at least try to get them back to the owner.

Lyn said...

I dropped my wallet outside my apt. building in New Orleans. Someone did end up using my bank card to buy things, but then about 3 weeks later a woman returned the wallet and everything but my bank card (cancelled by this point of course) and stamps were in it. She claimed here son "found" it. She took a risk in bringing it back to me so I could have all the items in it again.

katie in virginia said...

i believe that in most cases people will choose to do the right thing. this largely depends on circumstance. with respect to found cameras in particular, there are not many resources (in fact, i know of none other than this blog). therefore, upon finding a camera, lots of people would have no clue that there is a way to reunite an owner with his or her camera. that being said, i am a hopeless optimist...

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree that most people will make the effort to do the right thing. It's just not always possible. This site at least provides a new avenue to help folks out, and I think that's a great start!
Years ago I found a roll of film, curious about who might have lost it, I had it developed. I'm not sure what I ended up doing with the photos (party at someone's home if I remember correctly), but I would happily return them if I found the owner. I don't even care about the cost (probably wouldn't have even when I had them developed, but at this point - it doesn't matter any more).
If I can find them, I will definitely upload a few scans.

Kae said...

katie in virginia: i am intrigued by the seeming paradox of a "hopeless optimist"! =)

Allison said...

I lost my camera a year and a half ago in Rome, Italy. I immediately wrote it off as gone. To this day, I'm still devistated over the lost images (my first vacation with my boyfriend to Florence, my friends, etc.). Although it's been so long, your site gives me an ounce of hope that someone will do the right thing and try to find me. I know that's naieve, but I'm still crossing my fingers.

But maybe that's just because I would turn in a camera if I found it. Maybe I'm too nice? I'd hate to believe that about the world.

Anonymous said...

I believe some people WILL do the right thing, but I know some will not. That's just how people are. What goes around comes around, that's my philosophy...

I have a return address label pasted into the inside of my camera case. If I ever lost it, I would hope the finder would return it. If they don't, that's their bad karma, but I know I would return it if I was the finder.

I've found many things, mostly purses, wallets, cell phones and more than once, lost people (a handicapped man who could not speak but got off his class bus by mistake, children, and dogs). The most impressive was a (large) diamond ring in the ladies room at the Pismo Beach Marie Callendar's restuarant. Thank goodness the new bride (she was married the day before) came back within 2 hours.

The woman at the gift shop and I later became friends and she told me they came in to claim it, the husband didn't know how to calm his wife's tears and she told them to go sit together and talk. An hour later, the wife came in and thanked her before they left, saying, basically, "We don't share, thank you for teaching us how to share (as they started their life together).

I've often wondered if they are still married and how the loss and finding changed their lives. :)

You never know whose life you will touch or how, so I strive to do the right thing daily.

Be well...

ShalMayan

PS I posted because I am originally FROM Santa Clara, where the above poster lost his wallet. Glad to know my hometown does the right thing ;)

Anonymous said...

I believe it depends on circumstance. If you are destitute and find a camera, you sell it, you don't see it as a personal item or a favour just survival.
If you are angry and see loving photos you may pull an FU an delete everything and keep the camera.
Lost a camera in the past? do what you wish had been done for you and try your best to return the camera. Completely luck and circumstance.

Having said all of that. It is much eeasier in every circumstance to return a camera and or memory card(purse, wallet or other items) if it is clearly labelled.

Topher E said...

My former sister-in-law works for the company that runs ferry boats out to Catalina Island. She says they have countless cameras turned in to lost & found that are never reclaimed.

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