Want an example of the power of a simple text? Recently in New Jersey, a student sent a message to a parent that reportedly suggested someone was bringing a gun to school. Understandably, that mom was so alarmed that she contacted the police, who then put three local high schools on lockdown for three hours. Just one problem: it was a complete miscommunication caused by the kid's autocorrect function.
Now in this day and age, it's completely understandable that this mom would be on high alert. I am sure thoughts of Newtown and Columbine ran through her head as soon as the message went through.
So for three hours, students were kept inside classrooms while lockers, backpacks, and some students were searched. Nothing was found. Officials would not reveal what the text message actually said, but noted that "autocorrect created a situation where it looked like it was something totally different."
And it's great that the authorities responded so swiftly to what they thought was a possible threat. But this highlights a major issue with smartphones. These autocorrect glitches are incredibly common these days. I once wrote a text to my nanny that corrected her name to read "Lush." We've even covered many examples of hilariously inappropriate autocorrect fails. Usually, it doesn't create such a crazy ruckus. I can only imagine the resources and manpower this mix-up caused.
Though, as crazy and annoying as this situation is, I think the overreaction by the mom was totally warranted. What if that text had been right? Then she may have saved lives. That's the best part of all these tech advancements -- we don't have to hear what's happening secondhand. Our kids can alert us right away. She just needs to tell her kid that he needs to proofread his messages from now on.
What was your most embarrassing or memorable autocorrected message?
Image via Jhaymesisviphotography/Flickr