False Sense of Security

One of my friends from home and I were reminiscing about stupid things we did growing up, especially in middle school. She and my sister – never me because I am too afraid of the dark – would sneak out all of the time to meet up with their friends. They would sometimes walk a couple miles in the dead of night to get to their friends house, and sometimes completely alone. A young teenage girl walking alone at night sounds extremely dangerous, but she mentioned that she never felt in danger because she had a cell phone with her.

That got me thinking – Does having a cell phone make us feel safer? Is it a false sense of security?

If someone actually wanted to abduct or harm my friend and sister – would having a cell phone really help them escape? Would they be able to call 911? Would they even have a chance?

I would argue not. If something were to happen, there would be no one that could get there fast enough to really save you. That’s assuming you still had access to your cell phone, that they wouldn’t have taken it from you. You’d have to be anticipating danger in order to really save yourself.

Just like when people to tell you to keep your cell phone on you when you go on a longer drive. If you were in a really bad car accident – you probably wouldn’t be able to reach for your phone to call anyone for help. In reality, if you couldn’t reach your phone you would be just as stranded if you were without one.

So although our smartphones allow us to stay connected with our friends and the Internet on the go, how much do they really keep us safe from real life dangers? I would argue very little. Cell phones create a false sense of security because people feel as if they have all their friends, family, or law enforcement at the tips of their fingers, but that only lasts if you can access your phone, or if people can get there in time to help you.

No matter how connected you are, that will never protect you from real life danger. In fact, being glued to our phones can distract us and actually make us more vulnerable. If my friend was on her phone she might not notice someone walking behind her because all her focus is directed toward the phone. She is less alert, and thus more susceptible to a threat.

It is hard to imagine life without my cell phone constantly by my side, but this conversation got me thinking that being in touch with the Internet may actually be doing more harm than good. If we are so connected to our devices, we aren’t as aware of our surroundings and this can put us in great danger. Our online security isn’t the only one we should be concerned about these days.

Just some food for though this Saturday evening.

Emma vanBree

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