Like many California residents last night, I was caught off guard by an amber alert popping up on my cell phone. My first thought was that it was some kind of spam and my second thought was, when did I opt in for this? After opening the notification I was given the option to go to my settings and change/opt out of such alerts. After thinking for a few seconds about my sleeping toddler in the next room, I decided to keep these alerts on. What if it were my little boy? Or a friend or a family member? Wouldn’t I want anyone in the vicinity who could possibly spot perp to be aware? Amber alerts only help you have lots of eyes on the lookout.
After reading this article about how many were “irritated” and “annoyed” by the inconvenience of the alert, it didn’t set well with me. I understand that if I had been asleep and wakened by such an alert, it might have been jarring. I leave my phone off but put it on silent and turn off vibrate so that it doesn’t disturb me while I sleep. When I had an iPhone, I used the DND feature. If your sleep is so precious, why not try that?
I guess my fear is that the first reaction by many is to be annoyed rather than concerned. A woman was possibly murdered and her children abducted. God forbid you lose a few minutes of sleep.
I hope that those who are so inconvenienced by the tragedy of others do opt out of receiving these alerts. I feel like they aren’t any help to us as a society anyway.