Texting and Walking

By Mary Menzemer, Writer

We all are guilty of it.  We walk down the streets, in our malls, on our university campuses when all of a sudden, we feel our pockets vibrate.  Our surroundings then cease to exist for the time we spend checking our phones and typing whatever responses we feel the need to expound.

Is this dangerous?  It is in multiple ways. Not only is it a safety hazard, tripping over an unexpected pothole or body slamming into another person. It is a distraction from whatever is happening around us.

Instead of enjoying the company of your friends or some time in nature, some of us choose to keep our minds focused upon the virtual world. I can imagine Mother Earth looking around at this madness, shaking her head and thinking to herself, “Is my good, wholesome, natural earth not good enough for you anymore?”

I was with a friend once outside during a warm fall day and we were chatting as we were walking. Then, he stops to look up at the sky.  “What are you doing?” I asked him. He replied, “You miss so much when you keep your head straight and don’t look up once in a while.”

I thought about this for a while and even tried it a few times. There have been a few amazing skies and ceilings that were special, even if just for a moment. What does all the vast space mean to us if we can’t appreciate it?

Chatting and walking with a friend in person is much more rewarding than chatting with them via text or otherwise.  A smiley or frowny face emoji just is not the same as seeing the expression upon the face of a real person.

With the new texting and walking epidemic, does it mean more of us have become slaves to technology? Over time, will this affect our ability to interact with people face to face?

Socializing like this would turn us into the people from the movie Wall-E. This is a world that is totally dependant on gadgets, a thought that is disturbing and a little hilarious.

So, texters and walkers beware. Maintain a solid level of visibility, call your friends back and maybe even look up.