Sunday, July 27, 2014

Don't Text and Walk

by Leann

Since we are in the middle of moving, I am writing this blog early. Next weekend, if the internet is working (PUH-LEASE let it be working!), I will share pictures of our new home!

Today I am tackling a different subject. We all know how dangerous is can be to
text and drive--or even talk on the phone while navigating the highway. I'm certain you've been behind someone who is swerving, going too slow or paying no attention to traffic ahead. It's scary and I often like to guess if their erratic weaving is caused by cell phone behavior. When I get the courage to pass them, I am usually right.

But there's another danger out there--the danger of me saying something I shouldn't to a stranger. And who knows where that could lead? Hairpulling? Punching? Who knows? I am talking about people who almost walk. If you cannot pat your head and rub your belly, you should know that you cannot text and walk. Do one or the other. Please.

This happens most often in the mall or the grocery store. You're walking along and bam! You almost run into someone in front of you who has stopped dead because they are texting or reading a text. They are in a world of their own. You do not exist. In grocery aisles this can cause a back-up and even loud throat clearing has no impact. Most times, when they've sent or read their IMPORTANT text, they move on. Slowly, eyes focused on their phone and waiting for a reply.

This past week I was walking on a rather long narrow sidewalk that leads into my doctor's office. The woman in front of me was texting. A turtle would have won a race with her. But she was busy. And she took up the whole sidewalk. When we reached the front of the office, there were two doors. She slowly went to the right, so I took the left door, walked in and reached the sign in sheet before she did. All of sudden, she was refocused on her current reality--and not happy. I got the stink
eye as we both waited to see the doc, but guess what? Being considerate of others is something I value. Being inconsiderate of others has consequences. But somehow, I don't think she will ever understand.

Texting and walking might not kill you, but maybe parents need to add cell phone etiquette to the life skills they teach their kids. What about you? What are your pet peeves when it comes to people talking on their phones or glued to their phones EVERYWHERE?


23 comments:

Shirley said...

I'm surprised that women talk on cell phones while in the stall of the restroom. Why?

Lynda Turpin said...

It really irritates me when you're in a check out line or a fast food counter and the person in front of you is talking on their phone - taking longer to get the transaction done because of their talking. It is SO rude. And even if they are not holding up a line, it is extremely irritating when you're in a public place and people are talking (loudly) on their phone - like you really want to hear their personal conversations (and sometimes they ARE personal)

Also, when you're with someone and they are constantly checking and/or answering their phones or texting someone. It's like you are just too boring to hold their attention. And it's even worse when you're paying someone for their time. I recently went to get my nails done and the girl kept stopping to pull her phone out of a drawer and checking her messages.

I have had a couple of instances when I needed to have my phone available because I was expecting a very important call. However, I told the person up front why I might need to answer my phone and apologized ahead of time. .

And another phone habit that is irritating involves the Bluetooth wireless ear pieces. You and another person may be the only ones around when they start talking. You don't see a phone so you think they must be talking to you (and sometimes they're looking at you), but they are actually talking to someone else. It's embarrassing if you say something to them and realize they weren't talking to you.

Gee - I had more cell phone pet peeves than I thought - LOL. But I think you're right about kids needing to be taught phone etiquette - and a lot of adults too.

StephanieHobrock said...

People who think they need to talk loudly on a cell phone instead of normal voice tones!

Leann Sweeney said...

I know. What's with THAT?

Leann Sweeney said...

Yes! If the adults teach it, maybe they will learn it too. With my background, I have often thought I was in the presence of a schizophrenic when someone starts talking to seemingly no one! And then I see the bluetooth. It's a different world out there!

Leann Sweeney said...

Yes! It's almost like they want the world to know THEY have a phone call. They are important. Kind of sad when you think about it!

mary kennedy said...

Hi Leann, I've had the same experience! There was a woman ahead of me in line like that--she was totally absorbed in her texting and was moving as slow as molasses. I was getting more annoyed by the minute and said to my friend, "If she moved any slower, you could harvest her organs." Probably not a wise thing to say, because she suddenly stopped texting and turned around and glared at me. Too bad...people like that drive me nuts. Great blog!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Mary. I love that line, though. And you know writers are thieves! :-)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Great post, Leann! I have been watching texters step into intersections without looking up to see if cars are bearing down on them. Darwin lives, I think, but they might not ....

Happy moving day, my friend. XO

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks MJ! I agree. And yet ... I had to bring it up. And I'm no genius. Just the "common sense" kind of person!

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I try to tap them on the shoulder and say excuse me to get by. I really would like to knock them down. LOL The Bluetooth ear thing is annoying. If you hear what they are saying, it is not important. Just talk that could wait until they get home. Now a day, lots of people have only their cell phone and not a home phone, so maybe that is why they answer it. To me, the cell phone is for emergencies. It's great when the power is out or someone really needs me.. I don't get many calls on mine. Last evening in Church, someones cell phone went off. It was really loud. You would think they would mute it or shut it off before going in. When I am alone in a restaurant, I do check my e-mails but that is about it.

Leann Sweeney said...

It is so easy to silence a phone. In church, in the theater, in the movies--people who don't silence are often telling you that others experience doesn't matter. Technology has changed so many things, some good, some not so good!

Dru said...

how about the person who is texting while crossing the street against the light and get mad when a car honks at them. Put down the phone for 5 minutes. It will save your life.

Karen in Ohio said...

See, now this is nothing new to me. When I was in high school, in the 60's, I would often read while walking home from the library, about a mile away. My dad said I always had my nose in a book, and he wasn't kidding.

Of course, there were a mere fraction as many people then, and way, way fewer cars. But I'm sure I gave more than one driver a near heart attack when I absentmindedly stepped off the curb, absorbed in a good story.

Janet C said...

Always fun when I'm out on my morning walk and I have to go side to side on the sidewalk trying to avoid the person weaving all over the sidewalk while texting. Well, at least I'm getting in a few extra steps.

Leann Sweeney said...

I know that has to be a HUGE problem in NYC!! Yes. Put down the phone!

Leann Sweeney said...

I am glad you survived, Karen! LOL. And so did your love of books!

Leann Sweeney said...

It's amazing isn't it? Walking behavior while texting or talking on the phone is very similar to driving while doing the same.

Grandma Cootie said...

Before I retired (ahhh, bliss) I had a long commute and would see many of the same people in traffic with me every day. This was before texting became so popular, but it seemed like some of them would be talking on the phone from start to finish (2+ hrs). I thought I had a fair amount of friends but not enough to talk that much! Every day. And now with texting and smartphones and social media . . . not safe to step outside. I am embarrassed when my phone rings and I think it might disturb people. Obviously I'm in the minority these days.

Leann Sweeney said...

On rare occasions I talk to my daughter or my sister for a long time--but always at home and NEVER in the car or walking on the street. If I get a call at the supermarket from my husband who remembered something he needed, I pull the cart over to an un-busy spot and talk to him. But some folks just stop dead in the center of the aisle. I just don't get it, but we grew up in a different time. (At one point we had 8 people on our party line at home and were so thrilled when the phone company dropped it to 4!! LOL)

Annette N said...

As for the people talking on their phone in public, when did private lives become things we want to broadcast to the world? Have people become so insecure that if we did not let everyone know how important we are no one would ever know?

And the texting while driving or walking - walking You can fall in a hole and driving you can kill an innocent person. Either result is not a great one.

Leann Sweeney said...

I totally agree, Annette. I get uncomfortable listening to other people's conversations.

Heather said...

Texting and walking actually can kill you. We've had a few incidents in our area where people walked in front of moving vehicles because they were texting instead of paying attention to where they were going. Always, always be aware of your surroundings!