You know you’re supposed to be able to text with your friend when she’s sick, right?
You’re supposed be able access all your messages on her phone so she can stay up-to-date with all the news from around the world, right.
But what if she has a cold?
What if she’s been battling a severe case of pneumonia?
She might not be able tap her phone, and you can’t even share pictures with her on Snapchat.
What happens when you’re sick and your friend can’t communicate with you?
Well, the answer may be far worse than you might think.
“You could end up using your phone as a weapon,” says Ryan, a 27-year-old entrepreneur in Chicago.
“You could be using it as a tool to communicate with your loved ones, and that’s a bad situation.
You want to be safe and secure.”
Ryan says his friend’s cough has been getting worse, and it’s been a slow but steady decline for weeks.
His friends were able to reach out to her and get her to stay home from work.
But when her cough became worse, the friend couldn’t call her, which meant she had to leave her phone at home.
Ryan and his friends then found themselves scrambling to find a way to communicate.
They started sending text messages, asking her if she was okay.
The friend was not, and Ryan and other friends had to call her mother to get her out of bed.
Ryan and his fellow friends didn’t have much choice.
They had to figure out a way for her to communicate using their own phones, which is what Ryan did.
Ryan’s friends figured out a solution on their own, but Ryan’s mom didn’t think they were ready for it.
“She’s the person that’s been dealing with the cold, and she’s going to have to make a decision about whether or not she wants to send texts to her mom,” Ryan says.
“I don’t want to send her texts,” his mom says.
“I’m going to be the one that’s trying to get the messages to her, and I’m going do what she says.
But I’m also the one who’s going in there, and there’s a lot of work involved.”
Ryan and a friend are working on a solution for their friend, but they aren’t ready for her mom to get involved yet.
“This is what you have to do: Your mom is going to come in, and if you’re texting her, she’s not going to hear it, so you have no choice,” Ryan said.
“If you’re in a situation where you’re trying to communicate, you’re going to end up losing her, because you can tell she’s feeling the cold.
And she’s probably going to get sick.”
So Ryan and two friends created a solution to a common cold: They built a mobile app that allows people to use their own smartphones to text, and to get a text to her to let her know that she is okay.
Ryan says it’s a “nice, simple solution,” but he admits that his mom will not approve.
“And that’s kind of sad, because I feel like we’re trying our best,” Ryan admits.
“But it’s kind for me, because my mom is like, ‘You’re making her miserable.'”
Ryan says he has been able to communicate on a variety of other occasions, and the apps have helped his friends connect with others.
But his mom is not impressed.
“How is that a good idea for a person to send messages to their own mom?”
Ryan’s mother says.
Ryan says the app is just one of many things he has built to communicate to his friend.
“What I’m trying to say is, this is my friend, and we’re doing the best we can,” Ryan adds.
“It’s a pretty big thing, but it’s also not going out of our hands.”
Ryan is not alone in his efforts to solve the cold and communication.
A similar app is being developed in China to help Chinese travelers connect with their friends and family in their country.
And some tech companies have launched apps to help people communicate with loved ones.
But Ryan and others in the tech community are calling for more action from governments.
“We need a lot more government intervention, and a lot less private companies trying to do it,” Ryan concludes.
“Just the fact that you can do this to your friend is an amazing thing, and an awesome thing that can really help people feel better.”