Walking Without Eyes

teacher-picAs I walk down the sidewalk or through any plaza, I find myself, these days, having to constantly duck and weave to avoid bumping into my fellow citizen. No matter the city or country, a new phenomenon is occurring that, to me, is quite worrisome. More and more people, whether young or old, no longer are able to keep their eyes on the path they are walking, and instead, find their eyes glued to their smartphones searching the latest feed on Facebook or some such social media.

Twenty or thirty years ago, you may have, on extremely rare occasions, had to avoid running over someone because they were reading the newspaper as they traveled on foot to whatever destination they had in mind. If this actually occurred – bumping into someone like this – it would be glaringly apparent who was at fault. Obviously, the newspaper reader would be the discomfited one. One would hope that he would see the error of his practice, apologize, and all would be well. However, in the new age, people who stare glaringly at their smartphones and smack right into an innocent by-stander, seemingly lay blame to the individual sans smartphone.

What can be done about this is not an easy solution nor choice. As this problem gets worse in society, pedestrians will have to, perhaps, choose tough love. This means bumping into the blind fool with his smartphone, possibly knocking it free from his hands, and letting it fall into a tailspin to the ground, and finally smashing into a thousand pieces, or at least giving the smartphone a good crack to the display. This is, of course, no solution at all, as it will ultimately bring anger to the phone handler and quite possibly a fist-a-cuffs will ensue.

People walking with phonesAnother option is to view the pedestrian field as a type of gauntlet or obstacle course. If the ones not coursing through the field with eyes glued to the smartphone strap on some track shoes, perhaps this can be an opportunity to get some serious exercise in. Of course, who wants to do exercise on their way to work?

And yet another option is the government gets involved and makes it illegal to walk and browse Facebook at the same time. However, I think Mr. Zuckerberg might have something to say against this. And whats-more, do we really want the government to get involved? I know I don’t.

So, this dilemma is yet to come to a conclusion, and perhaps it’s not really a problem at all, and what it comes down to is that I’m possibly just becoming a curmudgeon. What do you think? Is it a problem for you? If so, what are your suggestions? See you on the footpath…or not.

Vocabulary

Share this post