By David Waters firstname.lastname@example.org 901-529-2377
Late Monday evening and early Tuesday morning, Alys Drake of Germantown was checking the weather app on her smartphone to keep an eye on killer storms heading east from Oklahoma.
“I wanted to know what we were going to be dealing with,” said Drake, a mother of two, marketing consultant and social-media maven. “As we saw Monday in Oklahoma, weather is also a safety concern.”
Drake follows Germantown police, Memphis police, and the Shelby County Sheriff on Twitter. They let her know about everything from water main breaks and traffic tie-ups to real-time crimes.
If they don’t, her friends do. Last week, one of her friends retweeted a witness’s photo of a man suspected of trying to kidnap an elderly woman from an East Memphis Kroger parking lot on Mendenhall near Poplar.
“I shop there sometimes,” Drake said. “I’m up and down Poplar all day. I need to know if something’s wrong.
Drake’s use of social media — particularly Facebook and Twitter — has evolved over the years from occasional monitor to faithful follower.
She followed her daughters to Facebook and Twitter, mostly to keep an eye on what they were doing.
Then she began using the sites to find old friends from grade school to college and keep in touch with family.
After a few years as a stay-at-home mom, she began using social media to connect with potential colleagues and employers.
When she joined Howell Marketing Strategies, those strategies included social media and other forms of digital technology.
In recent months, Drake has helped the Riverdale School PTSA and the Shelby County PTA launch Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Nowadays, Drake uses social media and her smartphone to stay informed, aware and alert.
How do smartphone apps and social-media sites keep you safer? What sort of apps or sites would help you do that in Memphis?
Let us know. Comment on this story online. Join the conversation on the Safe in Memphis Facebook page at facebook.com/SafeInMemphis. Call or email me.