I love Apple products. I love apps. But, ladies, please don’t count on an app to save your life.
I understand that some states like California don’t give law-abiding people many options to protect themselves. It’s tough to be able to carry a gun and depend on yourself for your own safety. But now there are several apps that are supposed to provide “personal protection” for people, particularly women.
One is called StreetSafe: The Personal Safety App. When I first started to read about it I thought, “Well, I hope it turns my phone into a gun or at least a taser.”
The app itself is free but then of course I would have to subscribe to the StreetSafe service at the cost of $19.99 per month or $149.00 for a year. Every year. With that kind of money a gun would pay for itself in 2-3 years. Yet I would still be paying for this service forever.
And what exactly does it do? Jump out of my phone and handle the bad guy? No, I would hit the silent alarm and it notifies the local police to come to my rescue. If they’re available. And if I haven’t been raped and/or killed in the amount of time it took them to get there. The bonus is the police should at least arrive in time to take my raped and/or mutilated body to the hospital before I die. Hopefully…
Another feature of StreetSafe is the ability to be talking to someone while I am attacked, raped and/or murdered. Yay. What’s not to love about that? OK, the theory is that I call them and they will direct me to where I am going and stay on the phone with me until I arrive. That way I don’t feel all alone and scared walking in an unfamiliar place. Again, the operator won’t jump out of the phone and handle the bad guy for me.
This still doesn’t work for me as a form of self-defense. Plus I’m thinking I could look even more like a potential victim to a bad guy who thinks I’m involved in a conversation and not paying attention to my surroundings.
What happens if my phone is going dead? Some of these apps carry a warning that they will drastically reduce battery life. Or what if I am in a spot where my particular cell provider is not working? Then my phone is nothing but a dead weight to throw at someone.
There are other apps that perform a similar function. Send an alert, track where I am, even take pictures of what is going on. Great – they can film me being brutalized. Sorry, still not my idea of self-protection.
Again, I realize there are not many options in some states and many large cities. These apps may help pick up the pieces afterwards, but ladies, please don’t fool yourself into thinking you can walk down a dark alley with an app and it will save your life. Expecting that others will rescue you – and that false sense of security – just may get you killed.