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Texting on the move turns your walk into an ungainly lollop (telegraph.co.uk)
12 points by walterbell 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

I kind of feel sad watching people walking head down, not noticing anybody, busy in a virtual reality, getting a phone neck.

They are with one foot in the matrix.

I think we need to step back once in a while and rethink what is really important to us.

What if they are texting someone important to them? Their child, spouse, or parent they'd rather talk with than random strangers who pass by.

Going by the mostly vapid, unhappy expressions on their faces, I'd say no. And why would the alternative be talking to passing strangers? Why not just take in yourself and your surroundings, or be in your head without distractions? It's not that you have to always do that to be a person, but you have to be able to, and if you're not, talking to people who are equally unable isn't even being social anymore, it's just a blob. Which brings us back to the vapid expressions when reading and communicating. I think they're not really doing anything as much as simply waiting life out.

Waiting life out is a nice phrase. It accurately describes the way a lot of people live, sadly.

i don't put on a happy face when i text my girlfriend. doesn't mean i don't enjoy texting her.

That's great, but the expressionless faces also don't necessarily mean everyone is texting your girlfriend, or enjoying it if they do :P

When I even just read a book, I often catch myself with a grin or a frown. So if being glued to smartphones is enhancing so many lives so greatly, where are the signs of liveliness?

Just a counter example: people in Flow don't usually show outward expression of happiness, but it is widely considered a positive experience.


Walking prettily isn't really important to me.

And I'd be fine with people slumping over and giving out if only their votes and wallets didn't also affect my neck of the woods. I flat out cannot afford such peers, sorry.

I don't understand what point you're making; can you elaborate?

The "lack of pretty" comes from seeing someone absorbed in a way that diminishes them, makes them smaller, makes them weaker. Plenty of people would say "I don't care if you think I'm too weak", and I wouldn't care either, I wouldn't even make the judgement, if their lives didn't also affect mine.

It's fine when people derp out on Facebook. It's not fine that even non-profit orgs with the money to spare can't be arsed to make their own actual website. It's fine when people can't be arsed to have actual email and went for google. It's not fine that I can't write them without google turning that into ad juice. It's fine that some people can't deal with anything but bit-sized distraction, it's not fine that their economic and political decisions affect me.

It's the same principle why you're not allowed to drive drunk, expect it's really hard introduce that principle into a society of mostly drunk drivers. What they consider benign and their right I consider a threat to me.

So if any aspect of my life affects you, then therefore the way I walk affects you? Or are you okay with the walking, but not with some other stuff you had on your mind?

No, people metaphorically slumping over and giving out is what affects me. The way they walk is not the symptom that I care about, that's why I mentioned votes and wallets first thing. There is a difference between "I don't care if I walk like a zombie as long as I'm not one in my brain", and "I don't care how I walk, no matter the reason". You may not care, but that does not make me not care.


> The problem of text-walkers has become such a problem that cities such as Antwerp in Belgium, has introduced ‘text-walking lanes’ so that they do not irritate or endanger other pedestrians.

> The scheme is the brainchild of a local mobile phone business, Mlab, which says many smartphones are broken in collisions between pedestrians.

> China has already started segregating footpaths with special lanes for those using their phones.

> Initiatives are also being introduced in a number of European countries to place fixed warnings on the ground to alert pedestrians to the presence of roads and tram tracks.

The streets are already plastered with ads, now they'll also get plastered with reminders of just how cringe worthy so many people became so quickly. I know this is arrogant, but I'm just as unapologetic about that as smartphone addicts are. Kinda like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE&t=8m18s

Just parsing here: the walking doesn't affect you, but it is a symptom of some other "slumping over" tendency which you abhor, and which furthermore has other, more severe, effects on your lived experience?

I know this is meant to be a "dang kids" piece, but hey, that means that texting while walking might fool gait-analysis cameras.

Unless everyone also has a unique texting gait as well.

Now you're giving them ideas.

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