Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I remember as a college student, nearly 20 year ago, often being fearful as I walked around the campus. I could arm myself with pepper spray, but that was about all. It was prior to cell phones, and still in a time where there was quite a bit of crime on college campuses. Single women can easily become a target for predators. I often felt that lurking as I walked from campus to my car at a clipped pace, trying to avoid being alone.
Fast forward 20 years. We have cell phones now, giving us a bit more security. Often we even have a voice activation to call someone at the sound of our voice, or punch of a single number. We have the option to pull our our phone and call for help in an emergency... but not always. What if we are caught off guard, without time to get to the right screen to dial one number, or say our friend's name? And then heaven forbid it goes to voice mail or something like that. What kind of options do we have as women, traveling along in life, to help protect ourselves with the technology available this modern age?
So should we carry a gun, or knife. What about going back to pepper spray? All of these weapons can be turned on us, and used against us by a perpetrator. We can easily lose control of them or be strong armed into letting go. So what can we do to be safer as women, traveling through this fallen, often dangerous world?
There is a fantastic app called React Mobile that is basically able to send out an SOS to whoever you need. Available for Android and iPhones, React Mobile allows you to call for help with the touch of a button. Installing the app is very easy to do, and the website can even walk you through how to pick your specific contacts and how you would want them notified.
The app has a Follow Me feature allowing selected contacts to follow you via GPS. They can track your route, which would be perfect for runners to utilize! It works for anyone traveling from point A to Be. You can alert those selected people once you are safely to your destination. No need to call or text when you arrive, simply let them know you are safe from the app. They can tell via the GPS whether you made it to your destination or not, so if someone else pushes the I am Safe button, your contacts will be on high alert.
The app has an SOS shield on it that you can press to instantly alert those in your selected contacts of your emergency. The app will send an email or text to them with a link to your GPS coordinates. You can also utilize posts on Facebook and Twitter to alert people. You choose who you would like to contact, it does not contact everyone in your contacts. You also choose which way you would like for them to be contacted.
As I mentioned earlier, the first thing that came to mind when reviewing this app, was the help it would be for college students. I found out later, that the founder was just in that predicament when he decided to develop a system for his smart phone.
"React Mobile Co-Founder, Robb Monkman, was inspired to create the mobile safety application after being held at gunpoint during a home invasion while in college several years ago. Wanting to do more for on and off campus safety he created a tool that could be used to silently and discreetly alert a wide network, including the authorities, of an emergency and its location. After testing several beta products in various markets for over a year, the React Mobile safety app was finally launched in March 2013."
This is a newer app, only been around for just over 8 months, but already making a big difference in the safety of our loved ones.
This app honestly should be the first one you put on your phone. Not only for women, but for men too. I think of a few categories of people who really should consider this. I find it specifically important for college and high school students. Those who live on campus and the commuters. Campuses are a large target for predators. I would have felt safer on the campus just knowing that I had a tool, that by the touch of a button would alert my close friends to my exact position.
I also think it is important for anyone who is alone for any given amount of time. I think of runners our on the country road, working toward a marathon goal. I can think of several careers that require you to go into areas you are unfamiliar with, or that others may feel are unsafe. Careers like social workers, teachers, realtors, postal workers and other carriers. People carrying products to rural areas could be targeted just as much as those on a busy city street. There is no 'safe' place as we see so much in the news. But rather than live in fear, be proactive in installing a great safety feature on your phone!
You can get the React Mobile app for iPhones on itunes, and for Android on Google Play
The app is currently 99 cents. For all of that safety! You are turning your smart phone into a safety device, no amount of money could be too much for that service. This concept is excellent and I think will be very helpful the more people we are able to get the word out to.
Currently React Mobile is available in Standard, be looking for the Family version soon with a few additional features that will be helpful for families.
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