October 08, 2015

Walking around in Manhattan has become incredibly dangerous. No, I don’t mean that violent crime is up or that traffic has become any worse than it was before. Nope, it’s a much more insidious situation and it’s the crisis of the “technology zombie.”

Can’t speak for other cities, because I know of no major metropolis where people walk as much as NYC, but it almost seems like everywhere you look all you see is the top of everybody’s head.

-- Walking down the street directly into your path? Your problem, I have to text my buddy or else he might die.
-- Crowded crosswalk during the lunch rush? Not my problem, I’m still walking in a semi-straight line.
-- Eating in a restaurant with another human being? Yeah, think I heard you say this before so I’m going to bury my attention in Facebook updates.
-- That game I’m playing on the subway without earphones? You love those sound effects.

You get the idea, right?

We are in no way Luddites, but we do believe in universal courtesy, and when it comes to our mobile devices, most folks are far from courteous.

Now, let’s say you’re not much into other peoples’ feelings? More power to you, but you should also know that cell phone related injuries have been soaring and it’s not difficult to see why. If you’re walking with your head down and completely oblivious to the world around you, things are going to go wrong. The funny videos of people walking into walls or poles are all well and good, but those walking into the path of moving vehicles? Not so much.

Study: Cell phone-related pedestrian injuries soar

If it’s urgent, stop, move off to the side, and do what you need to do before continuing on your way. No one sees you as more important if you’re working and walking. They just consider you a PITA.