“If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only bring one thing, what would it be?”
It’s probably a question you’ve thought about at one point or another. In other words, what are the bare essentials that you would have trouble surviving without?
Turns out, for most of us, the answer to that question comes in the form of the rectangular box that is probably in arm’s reach to you right now: your cell phone. Cell phones are among the top 3 most common answers to this popular question, which just goes to show that a lot of us associate our smartphones with survival and safety.
While there are some people out there who might argue that cell phones are ruining society and that people no longer know how to communicate face-to-face, there’s plenty of evidence that actually suggests our cell phones help us survive. And I don’t just mean that we can no longer survive in a world without SnapChat and Facebook–although, come on, how difficult would that be?
I’m not sure how useful a cell phone would be on a deserted island (Is there wifi? A charging station? Our phones are going to die eventually, after all…), but we take for granted just how safe our cell phones can make us in today’s world. Here are some small ways that cell phones allow us to be safer and survive:
- Make Calls: Yes, it’s the simplest thing, but think about how much we take for granted the ability to whip out our phones and make a phone call during times of emergency! Cell phones have totally changed how we view emergency situations, and now, our first instinct is to call for help.
- Find Out Where You Are: Ah, the beauty of GPS. Before smart phones, getting lost in an unfamiliar area was a lot scarier and more complicated. Thanks to smartphones, you can figure out where you are 100% of the time, no matter how lost you might be.
- Light Your Way: You’ve probably not thought about it too much, but if your building had a fire and you had to make your way down the stairs and you didn’t have a flashlight, you’d be in a pretty tricky situation. All of our smartphones come equipped with built-in flashlights to help us find the way during emergency situations. (Or you know, navigate to the bathroom in the middle of the night when we can’t see anything.)
- Alerts Us of Emergencies: Before cell phones, the best way to alert the masses of emergencies like dangerous weather, shootings, and child abductions was to broadcast it on the TV/radio. And while this definitely was an effective method (and one we still use today), if you didn’t happen to be watching TV/listening to the radio, you’d be in the dark. Today, our phones will buzz like crazy until it gets our attention to alert of us Amber Alerts and severe weather warnings. It keeps people informed & on the lookout!
- Reduces Crime: Yes, according to a 2012 study by the University of Pennsylvania, there has been a 1/3 drop in crime rates since the 1990s, and it might just be thanks to cell phones. The study speculates that cell phones, which make it that much easier to report a crime, are a deterrent to criminals. It’s a lot harder to get away with crimes nowadays!
So what do you think, does your cell phone make you feel safer? Could you survive without your cell phone?! And if you’re planning on making any trips to a deserted island in the near future and can’t leave your mobile friend behind, be sure to check out charging stations. A dead cell phone certainly won’t do any good for your survival.