Attack of the Smartphone Zombies!!
They stagger along the streets of our cities with a glazed look in their eyes. They plod along in a daze, sometimes disheveled, often oblivious to all other concerns, and marching at a halted pace as if receiving instructions from a menacing spacecraft hovering in orbit around Earth. They pilot automobiles with an electronic device affixed to the sides of their heads like an alien parasite. They limp about along the sidewalk, getting into elevators, or walking in circles just outside buildings-- as if their minds have been hopelessly degenerated into a jelly-like ooze by a control ray emanating from towers erected by beings that have harnessed science in a ruthless quest for World domination. They’re… SMARTPHONE ZOMBIES!!
In all seriousness, if you are addicted to your smartphone, do you know how ridiculous you look sometimes? Do you know the dirty looks you’re getting when you selfishly clog up the sidewalk or the hallway while your zombie brain is processing whatever message you’re receiving? Do you know how dangerous it can be, to yourself and others? Of course you don’t. You are a zombie-- one of the living dead.
Fight the Zombie Apocalypse! Don’t Fall Prey!
In spite of the progress of science, education, and civilization, it’s evidently necessary and long overdue to repeat these common sense rules YET AGAIN:
1. Watch where you’re going.
It’s just common sense. If you’re walking on a busy city street, through a parking lot, or anywhere else where multi-ton steel vehicles are moving around, watch where you’re going. Is that REALLY too much to ask? Besides, what if someone driving those vehicles is just as distracted as you are?
Even walking while texting or reading messages inside a building can be dangerous. Watch what a great laugh these security guards get from watching a woman flop face-first into a fountain while texting in a mall:
In Rexburg, Idaho—a small college town home to BYU-Idaho-- anyone texting while crossing the street can rack up a $50 fine. In Fort Lee, New Jersey, officers can issue fines of $85 for dangerous walking. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports 38 states currently outlaw texting while driving.
2. Be considerate of others.
When you’re reading a message in a crowded place, and you… start… walking… slower… and… slower…….. to……… let…….. the….. meaning….sink…. in…… do you KNOW how irritating you are? Whenever I get off the L train in Chicago, invariably, the first person off the train MUST check their messages--- IMMEDIATELY—as the train exit doors open. It can’t wait until they’re safely out of the way, they MUST do it while slowly walking to the exit, creating a roadblock holding back 60 or so people stuck behind them. The 60 hostages are then forced to wait until all messages have been received before they are allowed by the phone zombie to return to their families.
3. Be aware of your surroundings.
Even if you can’t pay attention to anything else on the basis of consideration for others, you should at least be aware of what’s going on around you for your own safety. Thieves target distracted people.
Are You Too Far Gone?
Ask yourself this: How difficult would it be for you to spend at least one solid hour per day away from your phone? Impossible?
OK, maybe your smartphone-addled brain is too far gone. You no longer care about being put into a body cast, the inconvenience or danger you cause to the rest of society, or keeping an eye on your belongings. Only the next message on your phone matters. Nothing else. You may be in luck….
The Email'n'Walk app for iPhone employs the phone’s camera to show the user what’s in front of them while they’re typing or reading. That's right, instead of tilting your head slightly upward, the app will watch where you're going for you. That's what it's come to. The official warning attached to the app says: "We can't take any responsibility for your stupidity, so please don't go walking into traffic, off of cliffs, or into the middle of gunfights while emailing."