Texting and Walking
I saw this article in the New York Times this week and since then, it has alternately resonated bleakly and made me laugh, depending on my state of mind at the given moment it enters my brain space. It’s about texting and walking and the inherent dangers and rudeness of the practice. It’s really a short film whereby the filmmaker illustrates the problem and then interviews offenders.
This problem is rampant in Tokyo. Wherever I am, people are mosey-ing down the street (let’s face it – New Yorkers move; Tokyo-ites mosey – unless they run – then it’s serious) looking down on their phones and using their brilliant opposable thumbs in ways mother nature never intended and probably causes carpal tunnel syndrome eventually. I wish it was just texting though. Tokyo-ites read books and newspapers while they walk as well. I commute to work by bicycle around the same time every day and I see the same people with their noses buried in something every day. I have seen one person bump another more times than I can count. The worst was someone stepping off the curb and into traffic while reading before being pulled back by someone else, who miraculously was actually watching the lights. I haven’t seen anyone walk into a pole or anything else yet, but I’ve only been commuting for six months so far. It’s bound to happen. I would like to put this video onto the smart phone of every person in Tokyo. It might be meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but I think it has a powerful underlying message and more than just a kernel of truth.