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A Good Reason to Talk on your Phone?

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Jul 31, 2007 6:03PM

When we are alone on the train or on the street late at night, especially if we are (maybe just a little) impaired in any way, we are pretty cautious. We turn off our music and just generally try to be aware of our surroundings without being afraid of them. That being said, we've found in recent years that the very best defense against would-be attackers is a ponytail directly on top of the head. We believe that this hairstyle, when combined with a menacing scowl aimed at nothing in particular, is a powerful deterrant against anyone who might want to hurt us, or, for that matter, innocently ask us the time.

We realize that this particular outward display of harmless insanity is not everyone's cup of tea (some people, for example, might not have hair that is long enough to put into a ponytail). With the recent sexual assault in Lakeview snapping a lot of people to attention, people have been looking for new ways to try to keep safe while walking alone. One popular trend is having someone "walk you home" — that is, chat with you on your cell phone until you are safely inside.

According to this article, the Chicago Police Department is behind the "cell phone buddy" idea. The most important point, though, is that the contact be brief, that way the person knows where you are but you are yacking away without noticing what's going on around you.
We're not really behind the idea of talking on cell phones being a safe way to get around if you're alone, mainly because we know how vigilant people are when they try to multitask on their phones while doing other activities. There have to be other ways to give yourself some peace of mind if you're worried other than pressing a phone to your ear — but what? Do any of you have a good way to keep calm and safe when you walk alone?

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