Forget the kids on the milk carton. Efforts to find Kyron Horman, the 8-year-old missing since June 4 when he disappeared from his Oregon elementary school, have gone high tech this week. A Portland-based company with an Android app that rewards people who don't text while driving has picked up his family's cause.
Now in addition to coupons sent to the friends of the safe drivers, users of Text No More will get a picture of Kyron and details on his baffling case. It could help -- in a way that the missing kids flashed on a TV screen, on the back of a milk carton (do they even do that anymore), or on those mass mailers that always end up in the post office recycling bin don't.
When something appears on our phone, we tend to study it more closely because it's so tiny. We have to look to figure out what it is. And in a society where most of us are tied to our gadgets, it may be the fastest way to get to us.
In some ways, the push to save kids via cell phone has already happened. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has worked with national wireless carriers to send Amber Alerts via text message. You can sign up by texting AMBER plus your zip code to 26237. But those are localized.
Text No More, like most apps, can be downloaded by anyone, anywhere. And when leads have come up cold in a child's hometown, the next best thing is to go out of network, so to speak, to track them down. What's more, with the use of random apps, you hit people who wouldn't otherwise think to sign up for an Amber Alert service. In particular, Text No More services not just the person who downloaded it, but anyone who messages them while they're driving, sending them a message back about the service, and hopefully pictures of Kyron.
Will it work? As a mother, I hope so. His family is already in turmoil -- dad Kaine Horman filed for divorce from Kyron's stepmother Terri last year (she's the last person known to have seen him alive). A website set up for Kyron shows a family doing everything to bring their boy back. I feel for them, and I can't help wishing I had a Droid just to buy the app to lend a hand. Would you be more willing to buy an app that supports this kind of service?
Image via Facebook