No one would ever have predicted how short (text) message service, SMS could save a life.
The first text was sent on December 3, 1992 said, “Merry Christmas.” By the year 2010, reports indicated there were more than 200,000 sms messages sent per minute, which calculates to an estimated 6.1 trillion messages in a year sent worldwide.
Texting has become so rampant; there are now several stories of texting saving lives. The most common stories of text survival come from time of natural disaster, such as tornadoes or hurricanes.
These are usually times when communications networks are the most challenged. The time effective text messages saves lives by allowing for communication when normal means fail. There are stories of texts alerting rescue workers to the location of people who are trapped, or even emergency personal giving medical advice gives ordinary people who cannot reach a hospital.
Texting has also become a valuable tool in the recovery of missing children with a program known as Amber Alert. In the recent shootings that occurred at Virginia Tech, text messages were able to issue warnings to other students. Texting was even used after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a message every parent dreads receiving, helped them arrive quickly.
In a recent airplane crash that occurred in a remote area, some surviving teenagers were able to find help after sending messages to their parents. Rescue forces were able to receive directions to the GPS coordinates. Their ability to respond quickly, when cell phone calls could not go through, allowed vital medical help for the teens. Fortunately, this is a positive case of how SMS texting could save lives.
Schools nationwide have made emergency notifications for all crises by using text alerts to save lives. For larger schools text messages give teachers the opportunity to close and lock doors before the violence reaches them. Most schools now have practice drills that help teachers and students prepare and respond quickly to violent weather and people.