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dark alley

dark alley (Photo credit: renee_mcgurk)

If you find yourself walking alone down a dark alley late at night, have no fear-Kitestring is here to watch out for you! This free app is simple. If you are traveling alone or walking home after hours, you can tell the app when your estimated time of arrival is and it will text you to make sure you made it home safely. If you do not respond in a timely manner, the app will text your pre-set emergency contacts notifying them that you may not be safe. The message reads something like this, “This is [your name]. If you get this message, I did not get home safely when planned, and I might be in danger. (do not reply to this message.)”

It’s a decent and noble concept, but the message seems to be a bit catastrophic. Also, there are a plethora of factors that could contribute to your lack of responsiveness to your surrogate mother other than you got abducted and are in grave danger. Your phone could die, it could be on silent mode, or you could simply toss it in your purse/pocket and forget to check it. Furthermore, if you have the misfortune of using a deplorable mobile carrier like my own, you may not have service to send and receive text messages despite being in close proximity to five cell phone towers. Needless to say, a situation could escalate at an extremely rapid and unnecessary pace with this app. It could make sense for those who live alone, but the app needs a few tweaks to increase its functionality and viability. To conclude, I will leave you with this food for thought: if the unthinkable happened-that someone abducted you-most likely they would take your phone. If your captor has lived anywhere besides under a rock, even your run-of-the-mill criminal would be able to alert Kitestring that you are okay, when you clearly aren’t. Essentially, if you are totally safe and just forget to text Kitestring back, your loved ones will think you got thrown into an industrial meat grinder by a sociopath, and if you actually are in the presence of a dangerous human, everyone will be mislead into thinking you are safe. What are your thoughts on this app? Is it worth the effort, or do you think it will cause more problems than solutions?

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