This month, the Internet has been agog over a new service called Kitestring. And it sounds awesome . . . right?
Kitestring is an SMS service that tracks you when you're feeling unsafe—for example, while walking home alone after a boozy night on the town. Text the service and choose a window of time (up to 12 hours) to estimate the length of your journey. Then, after the specified duration has elapsed, Kitestring will contact you to make sure you're OK. If you don't respond, it will send a handy little "get worried, y'all" message to your emergency contacts, who can be added or deleted at any time. Though the message can be personalized, the generic one looks like this:
Hey, this is [your name/alter ego/whatever]. I'm going out for a walk. If you get this, I might not have made it back safely. Give me a call? (I used kitestring.io to send this message.)
When I tested this service on my own group of newly minted emergency contacts (a collection of bad-ass/reliable friends who live near me), the reactions I received were 100% positive. One even said using the service made me a "smart single lady." (True that!) And honestly, how many times have you promised your crew that you'd text as soon as you got home...then promptly forgot as you crashed with your clothes and makeup still on? We're all guilty. Best yet, the service is totally free, making it accessible even to those in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods.
So what's the catch?
The main thing is that—sorry, overworried moms of the world!—no text messaging service can prevent random acts of violence from happening in the first place. Of course, the service doesn't claim to have superhero crime-fighting abilities, but one worries that some will use it to overrride good common sense (e.g., perhaps it's best to reconsider walking home alone after a boozy night on the town to begin with).
That said, I'm personally on board with Kitestring—because I am a smart single lady, dammit, and because it can be a dangerous world out there. In fact, I feel safer already.
Image: logo, courtesy of Kitestring