Using texting and social media in an emergency

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You teach your kids to call 911 in an emergency and this is a great practice.  Now there's something else you might want to add to your list.  It is digital tools like smart phones, texting, Twitter and Facebook.  We saw how helpful those tools were in alerting law enforcement during the recent deadly shootings in Norway.

To see how, click here.

Cyber expert Theresa Payton says, hands down, 911 is still the best option to get help. However, we're learning every day that digital devices and the internet can prove a valuable tool to warn, inform, and ask for help.

Theresa often warns about the dangers of oversharing online, but in the case of a crisis, using text messages and social networks could be your best bet of getting back to safety.  She suggests three tips to teach your kids.


  1. Dial 911 first and make sure that help is on the way
  2. Text crisis information such as issue, current location, what you need to family and friends
  3. If you can safely alert your network of friends that you are in a crisis situation, use networks such as Facebook and Twitter to get the word out


GLADVERTISING – It's a mashup of words; glad and advertising.  It's new technology that can use photo recognition technology to try to predict your emotions while you look at product ads on a screen.  One potential place is when you face a vending machine, it might play ads, catch your emotions and then send different ads based on what the technology thinks your mood is.

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