Just when you thought the crisis was over with the advances and popularity of smart phones, “Butt Dials” are on the rise. This endemic has only affected the state of Louisiana so far this year. More specifically, it seems contained to the city of Baton Rouge. The butt dials seem to be isolated around prank phone calling the 911 emergency centers of Baton Rouge. The guilty derrières have overwhelmed the centers they can not seem to help phoning into. According to the local ABC affiliate WBRZ- Channel 2 News:
“East Baton Rouge Parish averages between 30 and 35 “butt dials” an hour, a number they have seen drastically increase over the last few years.
Mike Chustz, the EMS public information officer, said it’s largely due to new technology such as touch screens, emergency modes, or 911 speed dial are usually to blame.”
Butt Dials were thought to have been eradicated over the years with technological advances to the burgeoning smart phone industry and smarter buttocks. The issue came to head almost six years ago with this comical T-Mobile commercial:
Sadly, it is no longer a joking matter because after many years of being dormant, the endemic has been afoot in recent months. Last May, as reported by The Inquistr, it helped put a poor, guilty Florida man in prison for murder. In the case of the Florida man, the butt dials reached out to 911, helping the the police. The altruistic backside was not merely of Floridian origin. ABC News reported last November that an Arkansas man also fell victim to the merciless nature of butt dials, when his bottom also dialed 911 in midst of a murder plot.
Though this endemic (Not yet epi- or pan-) might seem funny or harmless, it has had devastating effects. It has been tying up 911 dispatchers in Baton Rouge for at least 30 minutes at a time. Butt dials have been making it difficult to save cats in trees, respond to public intoxication, and a myriad of other serious crimes. The dispatchers must remain on the line for whatever length of time that is necessarily and must call back to confirm there was not an issue, reports WBRZ. Officer Chustz explained further:
“A big majority of them are accidental and we’re not needed,” Chustz said. “But we don’t know that during the call, we have to verify that. And sometimes it can take three, four, 10 times to get that person back on the line.”
The local EMS has asked people to be aware of this growing endemic. Butt dials can be resolved by keeping your phone out of a pocket or purse or fanny pack, locking the screen, and putting it a case. Basically, rope it to your wrist or hold it in your hand with the screen facing out, at all times. Though this feels like a laughing matter, and it is okay to laugh, butt dials made to your local 911 dispatch center can still be considered a prank call and prosecuted accordingly. The best advice… go back to flip phones. It is the safest and surest way to avoid reaching pandemic levels.