Exposing one of the most common cell phone myths: can your cell phone really unlock your car?
A new generation of communication breeds a new generation of myths — in this case, cell phone myths. We’ve all heard them. They range from the absurd to the plausible, but most of them are nonsense — and this one’s no exception. Let’s explore the truth behind the myth that your cell phone can help you if you lock your keys in your car.
History of the Myth
According to this myth, if you lock your keys in your car but have your cell phone handy, never fear! A special code will pop that lock open like nothing.
This is one of the more pervasive cell phone myths. Part of it is wish-fulfillment: we’ve all done something dumb at some time in our lives, and it would be nice to know we’re protected against ourselves! Of course, if the myth was true, what would prevent thieves and hijackers from using it inappropriately? Well, let’s forget about that for a moment….
Why It’s False
Simply put, it’s impossible for your cell phone to transmit the information your car needs to unlock itself. Why? Because the signal from those little remote controls that unlock cars travels on radio waves. It’s impossible to transmit radio waves from a cell phone. It’s not what they’re designed for, and they can’t do it.
It might be silly, but at least this isn’t one of the dangerous cell phone myths. Experts warn that if you run into trouble, you should always call 911 — not some mysterious number that “only works on cell phones.”
Why Do These Myths Exist?
Like most myths, cell phone myths originate from a grain of truth. In this case, it’s the fact that most cell phones do have functions that their users aren’t aware of. However, most people don’t want to go to the trouble reading a forty five page manual, so they don’t understand what these features are. It’s much easier to just make up a story and run with it.
There are also certain numbers you can dial that will reveal technical information about your cell phone, such as the type of software it uses, or its serial code. Unfortunately, these aren’t particularly useful features to anyone but the programmers who designed them.
The Boring Truth
Sadly, cell phone myths are precisely that: myths. Your cell phone is a handy and useful invention that lets you communicate with others at a moment’s notice. Still, that isn’t enough for some people: they have to come up with bizarre stories to circulate. You can’t be sure about how cell phone myths get their starts, but you can make sure they don’t take you in!