Note: This post was originally published in September of 2014. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
A lot of people think that talking on their cell phone while they are walking alone will make them safer. After all, who would dare attack them when they have someone on the other end of the line who can call 911 for them?
But think about this. What good will it really do you, at the moment you are attacked, if the person on the other line calls 911 for you? Will they know exactly where you are? And even if they do, how long will it take police to arrive? Even if the police get there quickly, it’ll be be too late. The attack will already be over and the predator will be long gone.
It’s easy to have a false sense of security when talking on the phone or listening to music. You’re in your own world where no one will bother you. And while you may be able to avoid someone asking for change, you won’t be able to avoid the predator who is closing in on you.
Being on your phone when you’re out in public might actually make you less safe. The less aware you are, and the more occupied your hands are (carrying bags/packages/cell phone), the easier it is for predators to get the upper hand. They can grab your phone/valuables, grab you, and/or injure you before you have any idea what’s going on.
When you’re on your phone, you can’t possibly be aware of what’s going on around you. You are completely vulnerable! And predators LOVE vulnerable people. They call them “targets.”
Stay off your phone until you are in a safe area. Use your full attention to see what’s going on around you. If you insist on listening to music, make sure can still hear what’s going on and always remain aware of your surroundings.
If you are attacked while talking on your phone, yes, the person on the other end can call 911 for you.
But… if you are paying attention to your surroundings instead of talking on your phone, you may be able to avoid the attack altogether. Thugs don’t like people who appear aware and confident.
Awareness: it’s the cornerstone of self defense.
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