Swickard: Putting the ouch into texting

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. If you want a good laugh go to any college campus to watch some of the best and brightest students in the world trying to text and walk. The resultant signpost smack-downs are amazing. What is the communication value of their texting since these students make the same mistake day after day texting themselves into sign poles and off curbs?
       It makes me wonder when texting students wander out into traffic. Must be a Darwin moment when traffic has to frantically avoid them. Disaster strikes when a driver is texting and not watching the texting students. Both are knuckleheads. They cannot stop texting for even a few minutes.
      Some think we need more laws to keep people from being knuckleheads. Not me since a person intent upon being a knucklehead will be a knucklehead regardless of laws. We have plenty of data over the years of people who insisted on being foolish despite good advice.
       For the record I try to help text victims who accidentally embrace sign poles. My sympathy is given when all of a sudden they realize their device is broken so they will have to look life in the eyes all day long.
       A generation or two ago it was not texting that caused these accidents, it was loud music. By loud I mean volume that parts your hair when you get into the car. My generation sang along at the top of our lungs without anyone ever hearing us.
       Many in my generation drove right through red lights and into the path of emergency vehicles via the mind-numbing effects of loud music. One friend years ago said he did not hear the collision but realized that there had to have been one since when the music stopped he realized he was upside-down on the highway. Read full column


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