The One Where I Try Not To Sound Insensitive


(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It is 1:57 a.m. . For my military and European friends, that’s 0157. I don’t usually start writing at 0157, but I’ve been awake since 0113. I have Apple to thank for that.

I’m writing this, and hoping I don’t come across as any more of a jerk than usual, so I’m going to write it carefully.

You see, I care. I care about people. People I’m related to, I care. People I know, I care. Same for people I don’t know yet, people I’ll never know and dogs.  I am one caring individual. Hopefully, you believe that; I care about your opinion.

Now That I’ve Established My Nice Guy Credibility

So, it is with the sincerest sort of care than I can muster that I say to you, Apple, manufacturer of the amazing iPhone that is charging next to my bed, that I don’t need to know about an Amber Alert at 0113 hours (1:13 am to my non-European, non-military friends).

iPhone Original/3G/4/5

(Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano)

It isn’t that I don’t care that someone is missing. I do. It matters to me that someone is worrying about that missing someone. But in the wee hours of the morning, I am generally not in a position to help. In fact, I would go as far as to say that unless the bad guy drives up next to my bed and says…

…Say brother, you wouldn’t happen to know where a tired kidnapper could lay his head, would you? I got The Man breathing down my neck. I just gotta get a few winks and I’ll be good to drive again…

…I’m probably not going to be the heroic citizen who makes the call and saves the day.

The argument could be made that the Amber Alert went out to all phones, regardless of whether their owners were asleep or not. I contend, Apple, that you know when I am sleeping and you know when I’m awake. That may be an overstatement, but you do know when I am at home because I can tell my phone to remind me to do things when I get home. Awake or asleep, the odds are against me locating any desperadoes in my home, much less a specific desperado.

So I beseech you, Apple, to arrange for the Amber Alerts to come to our phones only when we are not at home. Not at home is where we are going to find the bad guys.

Is It Free Speech To Yell Fire In A Crowded School In My Sleep?

Oh, P.S., that alarm is loud. School fire alarm loud. When it went off, my first thought was not “someone is missing”. It was “holy crap, the school is on fire and I’m asleep”. Don’t worry though, once I peed on my sheets at the sound of that alarm and the idea that I might be on fire, I was able to wake up enough to realize that it was only my iPhone.

Only my iPhone, telling me something I can’t do a damned thing about now.

Fix it.

I care.

But fix it.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to do a load of yellows whites to toss in the laundry.


31 Comments on “The One Where I Try Not To Sound Insensitive”

  1. A severe weather alert blasted from my I-Phone a few weeks ago and woke me up. I must have already disabled the Amber alert. You’ll feel good about that clean laundry in the morning. If I move, my house will come alive with the sound of dogs barking.

    • omawarisan says:

      A weather alert makes sense, but it’d have to be more subtle. If it said in a soft voice “excuse me,microbursts in the area” I could be happy. At least that’s something you can act on.

      Clean sheets are great.

  2. Did they find the missing person? I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep unless I find out.

    You uncaring, bedwetting jerk.

    • omawarisan says:

      Fortunately, or unfortunately, they don’t ring back to tell you.

      In my defense, the alarm made me the bed wetter I am. If you have an iPhone, you’ll be changing sheets eventually for the same reason. No defense on the other.

  3. Betty says:

    That was one difference I noticed when I switched from blackberry to iPhone. With bb, you could turn the phone off while charging. Apple doesn’t seem to allow “off” while charging. Of course, since I ditched my landline almost a year ago, I really feel like I have to leave the iPhone on round the clock anyway. I don’t get amber alerts but the 3am text chimes always get me and then I’m awake for the day.

    • omawarisan says:

      Auuugh. Why do people do those 3am texts?!?! That drives me nuts. The only answer I’ve gotten was “I didn’t know your phone was with you at night”.

      Where the heck else would my phone go?

  4. Android is doing this as well. The last one I got the car was spotted in Miami. I’m in Orlando, 300 miles away. The car could be going to Miami but by the time it gets here I would have forgotten all about it.This is the age of technology, there has to be a better system.

  5. Katie says:

    The only alerts I get are from Groupon when there’s a deal on two hour kayak rentals, and believe me, I want to know about those ASAP.

  6. Blogdramedy says:

    While you were up, you took the time to comment on my post at 2:56 am.

    Thank you, iPhone.

  7. Oma, Thursday is the new Friday! You should have been just leaving the bar at that time.
    This is coming from the person who crawled in bed at 8:15 last night.

  8. I don’t get Amber Alerts on my phone. Is that something I have to sign up for or does it happen automatically. ‘Cause now I feel like a jerk for never knowing when anybody is missing.

  9. Laura says:

    I’ve started getting these on my Android phone, too. Amber Alerts used to be something you might come across during the normal course of a day (on freeway signs, on the radio or online). Now they’re intrusive high-priority alarms. I don’t want to sound insensitive either, but while I’m happy to keep an eye out for a stranger’s missing kid, I’m probably not going to drop whatever I was doing and go search for one, especially if they were last seen 500 miles away.

  10. knace says:

    I also live in NC – and I too got this alert on my android smartphone. We all had a little complain-fest about it at work this morning. You are not alone in your thinking about this! My own super-alert response was to slap my hand all over the headboard trying to find where I had put my phone while my husband kept repeating “What the !@#$ is that noise?!” And I think it upset my dog, too.
    Yeah, that does look really shallow and uncaring when I type it.
    But still.
    I haven’t followed up with the news. Did they find the little girl? And who leaves a toddler in their SUV, in a parking lot at mid- Yeah, neverrmind.

    • omawarisan says:

      They did find the car and the girl. I guarantee there is more to the story than is being said.

      Nah, not insensitive. You just want the information where you can use it, right? You and your knew neither of you had gotten any kidnapping done last night.

      I like the spirit of getting everyone in the game, but it needs refinement or people are going to opt out.

  11. If you pee at the sound of a fire alarm, you could be very handy when it comes time to put out an actual fire. Consider a second career.

  12. Debbie says:

    I just learned another reason why I don’t have an iPhone. Thanks for the info!

  13. happydaisy says:

    I don’t keep my phone by my bed — because I live in a different time zone than many of my family members, and finally had enough with the 4 AM pocket dials! “Oops, sorry, just getting ready for work. Nobody’s dead.”

    Sorry to hear you were woken up. But in a way I’m glad you were, because I got to read this great post! Including this line, which is so true, “But in the wee hours of the morning, I am generally not in a position to help.” I’ve seen cases where the Amber Alerts actually do work, and have returned missing children to their proper caregivers. But as you said, you’ve got to be in a position to help when you receive the alert. Regardless — it’s a long weekend. Hope you get lots of time to sleep in! 🙂

  14. spencercourt says:

    When I read about these sorts of things, I appreciate that I have a “dumb” phone. A cheap ($19) Tracfone that I use only to call folks every now and then. No Internet. No texting. No apps. No alerts of any kind. And, so the NSA, advertisers, etc. cannot track me, which is turned off unless (a) I’m talking or (b) expecting a call.

  15. This must be an American thing. I haven’t heard of any bed wetting Canadians from alerts on their phones. None of my peeps that have Iphones have mentioned it and we have an Androids and are still yellow sheet free.

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