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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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Pay attention: Texting and walking can wait

Pay attention: Texting and walking can wait


Staff Writer

According to an article published by CNN, only 10 to 12 percent of people would be categorized as being “addicted” to their smart phones. While this is a relatively small percentage of the American population, it is fair to say that most Americans with access to smart phones are overusing them.

About a week ago, I was walking on campus, and I looked around and noticed that everyone walking around me was on their phone. Somehow, no one was running into each other; everyone’s peripheral vision was working overtime. I continued to notice this trend more and more after that. I am not exempt from this bad habit myself – just the other day I walked from Combs to the UC while writing an email.

Street artist Jay Shells designed and displayed fake road signs in New York in 2012 to discourage cell phone use by pedestrians.

This is a big issue because there are so many things that students are missing while staring at their phones. The UMW groundskeepers are always hard at work, making our campus beautiful and keeping the plants mulched and watered to perfection. If your nose is in your phone, you could miss the chance to appreciate the groundskeepers and notice all the hard work they are doing. Sometimes a smile of acknowledgement is enough to make someone’s day, especially if they have been working hard to improve your environment.

Walking and texting can also become dangerous if no one is looking where they are going. While walking to the end of College Avenue, watch out for the pedestrian walk signs. In addition, make sure to look both ways while walking on a crosswalk; it is still your responsibility to be sure you have a clear path before walking. A study recently done by Ohio State University found that injuries related to pedestrian cell phone use have doubled since 2005. The study also reveals that accidents caused by texting and driving are now outnumbered by accidents caused by texting and walking.

Our generation should be better than this. We need to lower the number of accidents caused by cell phone distractions. Whoever is on the other end of the phone will understand if they do not get a response while you are driving or crossing the street.

One of the most important things that is missed by walking and texting are the people around you every day, sharing the campus and their energy with you. Walking around with a smile on your face instead of your phone blocking your view could create new opportunities to make friends and interact with others.