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Baby Steps: Making sure someone can find you

Most rational people turn off location services on their phones. It's a security thing -- after all, you don't want the whole world to know where you are all the time, right? And when you're married, you often share location with a spouse. Teenagers share their locations via social media like Snapchat, but that's a whole new world and not my wheelhouse. But what if I don't have a partner? How will anyone even know I've gone missing?

I'm talking about the fear, and it's very real, that if no one heard from you for a few days, how would anyone find you? I have a few people with access to my location. First, my family. My kids can always look up my location and see where I cam. Second, I have one girlfriend trusted with this info. None of my family members (sisters, mom) live in Houston, so they're not necessarily as critical on the day to day front if I'm out of touch for a while. If I go to pick up something I've purchased from Facebook Marketplace, or out on a date with someone I don't know well, I want someone to know where I am. My family has a tradition that goes back YEARS of making a "safe arrival call" when we finish a road trip or other travel, but sometimes we forget. The location on my phone is a great backup option. Mom, I use it to make sure you made it home, too!

So here's how to turn it on for just one person on an iPhone. Go to that person's little circular name thing (young people call it an avatar.). (When you send a text message, there's a little icon at the top tied to that person. Sometimes it's a picture or some initials) and click on it. Then scroll down a little ways - you'll see lots of options. You can change the ringtone that plays when this person texts or calls, you can send read receipts (so that this person knows you've read his or her message" for texts, and you can share your location. You can share it for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. And you can turn it back off the same way. I believe there's a way to turn on location sharing through google maps, too - Here is a link to the google discussion on how to share your location on an android using google maps.

When you're going to meet someone to pick up something you bought online through a neighborhood group, or when you're heading out to meet a new person for a quick cup of coffee, just shoot a text to a *local* friend or family member to tell them where you're going, who you're going with, and when you expect to be back, and turn on location sharing. It's just safer. When you don't live with someone, and no one will notice that you didn't make it home when you expected to, it's nice to know that someone can find you. For you, and for the people in your life.

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