Monday, January 18, 2010

"Texting While Walking": The New Epidemic

So we've all heard of all the dangers associated with talking and texting on phones while driving.  Recently, they realized that banning texting while driving hasn't come close to solving the root of the problem: most people can't multi-task to save their life.

Even simple tasks such as walking without serious injury have proven too  complex when paired with the important task of texting someone on your phone.

In 2008, over 1000 people in the US went to the ER for injuries resulting from texting while walking.  This is double the rate of 2007, and 4 times as much many people as 2006.  While 1,000 people in a country of over $3 million may sound insignificant, it's increasing at an astronomical rate (doubling every year).

One must also realize that these 1000 people are a small subset of those injured or embarrassed for mishaps from texting while walking: all those people who walked into poles or parked cars, but were not injured enough to go to the ER.  All of this came from an Ohio State study (yes, they are now studying it) which found the injuries to include concussions, broken appendages, and sprained ankles.

Gizmodo adds that this is part of an increasing problem of multi-tasking and information overload in today's society.  Scientists are studying the effects of this "grey matter" on our activities.  Their current results are bad: talking or texting on cell phones takes up so much of our attention we lose our survival instincts.

It's sad that texting or talking to a friend is more important to us then staying alive.

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