If You're Going To Channel Orwell, Don't Be Stupid

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 14.472% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

At 6:00 a.m. this morning, my iPhone buzzed for long enough to wake Gini up.  It was, as it turns out, an Amber Alert to let us know that a child had been kidnapped in our area.
We had not signed up for anything remotely like an Amber Alert, but apparently everyone around us got one anyway.  Which is a little distressing.  I’m all for saving kidnapped children, but I’m also all for not having my phone hijacked against my will.  I like the illusion that I control my phone – I know it’s not true (HELLO RSA), but I cling to it anyway.  A random police department call being able to bug me at a moment’s notice without my consent or opt-out notice is a little terrifying.  (And if you had your phone noises on, which we never do because people text me at all hours, apparently it made a terrifying alert noise.)
But fine.  I’m all for helping children.  How do I do this?
I don’t know, because there’s no record of the alert.  Didn’t show up on texts, no history, nothing.  If you were not lucky enough to be awake when the alert was sounded, or slow to answer your phone, the information vanished.  So if you were, say, checking your phone twenty minutes later because you were in the shower, well, I guess the kid’s gone, too late, let ’em go.
I hope that child is okay.  I really do.  But if you were going to commandeer my phone sans notice, I’d prefer you do it in a way I could know what to be on the lookout for all day, and maybe a second notice to let me know how it turned out.

1 Comment

  1. Dee
    Jul 19, 2013

    I recently got a new cell phone and I’ve found out that there’s this setting Enable Cell Broadcast and it’s an emergency contact system – it will work when the normal cell phone network doesn’t work, and sends things like Amber Alerts and other Emergency Broadcasts to your phone if you have it enabled.

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