If you have a message that needs to be delivered immediately, such as a security alert, e-mail isn't the medium of choice — or at least that's what cell phone providers will argue. Why? According to this story by CNET Networks' News.com, "More than 233 million people in the U.S. subscribe to a cell phone service, and many of those people view their cell phones as the one item they do not leave the house without." Read the article in its entirety: "Cell phone becomes new town crier."
Here's the lowdown:
University and community leaders are just now starting to see how cell phones, the one item people don't leave the house without, can be used to keep citizens and students informed and protected, particularly in the case of emergencies.
Experts say text message alerts, for example, may have helped in such tragedies as the Virginia Tech school shooting this week, Hurricane Katrina, and Sept. 11, 2001.
There are other cell phone apps beyond text message alerts that can help people in emergency situations, such as Rave Wireless' Rave Guardian, which "combines text message alerts and GPS tracking services to help turn students' cell phones into personal alarm devices that can be used in a crisis."
Sure, cell phones aren't just for chatting anymore. But will we eventually need a cell phone in order to survive? Join this discussion, and let us know how crucial (or insignificant) cell phones are in your life.
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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.