Fame born out of tragedy can be a tricky subject to manage. But Elizabeth Smart's journey, from the kidnap victim of a would-be-prophet rapist to a Good Morning America contributor and now app promoter has its own particularly unique trajectory.
Smart, along with former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman, who, as the press release notes, "spearheaded the prosecution of her abductor," have endorsed the app, which is called Hero.
It's essentially a social-media version of a 911 call. "With the rise of social media and use of mobile devices, individuals have the ability to serve as the eyes and ears during times of need," says the press release. "Time is of the essence in cases of abductions, robberies, stolen property, car accidents, lost pets and numerous other similar situations."
The app allows you to invite family, friends to be "Heroes" through various social networks. Select the app and you can instantly share video, audio and your GPS coordinates with that network of folks, and anyone else with a "Hero" app within a five mile radius.
All well and good, but there's something about the photograph of Smart holding out her iPhone that strikes a strange chord. As a national symbol of surviving horrendous and prolonged victimization, her foundation is dedicated to preventing crimes against children, an utterly laudable objective. Yet that photo, a flashy, yet run-of-the-mill, promotion for an iPhone app seems incongruous with the seriousness of her intentions and the values she seeks to promote.