When you’re walking down the street these days, people don’t even say hello when passing. They’re too busy texting or reading something on their phone. I read a study that said this could be the cause of double chins and bad posture. What about all of the beautiful trees and colorful landscapes they miss? I remember when we had land lines and answering machines. You actually had to wait until you got home from work to see who was trying to reach you. Now we have instant gratification and no place to hide from bill collectors. We had rotary dial phones, tethered to a short cord leading to a wall jack. If you were being stabbed to death and needed help, the last number you’d want to dial is “9.” And the “1-1”… forget about it. By then you’ve already bled out. Your only other option was to dial zero, which was even worse. Perhaps that was called natural selection in those days.
Now, everyone is talking or texting. They’re wearing a Bluetooth earpiece, hidden under their hair so you can’t see it. They’re looking directly at you, walking towards you. Wow! You think they’re talking to YOU. So you ask them “What?” And they snarl “I’m not talking to YOU!” How rude is that? Perhaps someone should invent a bubble to wear so you can have a personal conversation in public. And, what about women talking on the phone in a public restroom? They do that! That’s not only awkward for those of us in the restroom with her, but awkward for the person on the other end of the line. They can hear the toilets flush, you know. It sounds like a Chinese Gong. “Where are you calling me from?” “Benihana?” But men take selfies in a public restroom mirror, so everyone loses in the manners department, both men and women.
No one is paying attention to you, to life, to the road, or to others on the sidewalk. Utah Valley University has created a texting lane for students who are walking while texting. Not a bad idea. Perhaps city streets should have texting lanes as well. After all, there are bicycle lanes in some cities. The Chinese city of Chongqing has done just that. They’ve created a Smartphone sidewalk lane. And the Belgian city of Antwerp introduced text walking lanes for pedestrians using mobile phones. Sounds like a smart idea. It’s probably a crowded lane.
As for texting lanes on roadways, now that would be the lane with the smoke and the fire…
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Texting Lane – Comedy Defensive Driving