When your life is centered on getting and receiving messages from a gadget, the world around you disappears.

A new study suggests “distracted walking” is taking a toll on teenagers as the number of pedestrian injuries soars among 16 to 19 year olds.

Safe Kids Worldwide, a not-for-profit organization based in Washington stated that, “We have distracted drivers who may be hitting pedestrians in the street, but we also have distracted pedestrians who are walking in front of cars.”

Once again, I am astounded that money is being spent to research the obvious. Money that could go toward trying to discover antidotes for cancer, Alzheimer’s or a number of other diseases that afflict humankind. The article containing the above information also stated that there was a direct link between kids’ cell phone use and pedestrian death rates for teens. Gee, what an epiphany! I was thinking that maybe I could manicure my nails, drink my coffee and read a book while crossing a major highway.

The number of studies done that are simply repeats of what I heard from my grandmother and mother is astounding. I was given daily admonitions about not doing “two things at once” or “watch where you’re going, you’ll fall down.”

How did we get to the place where common sense is so absent from most people’s lives? Can we be so oblivious to our own mortality that we believe we can text, talk on cell phones, eat or drink while driving or walking? Have we become so hypnotized by gadgets that where we are or who we are with is less important than being connected to someone who is not present?

Believe me I am not against technology. What drives me nuts is that people seem to be less and less able to monitor themselves. We have to have research and get outcomes so that we can create slogans and laws to help individuals who seem to live in their own little world. And whether they believe it or not, their world is shrinking. When your life is centered on getting and receiving messages from a gadget, the world around you disappears.

Will the millions of dollars spent on billboards, signs on highways and media advertisements that say “Don’t text and drive” and the like get through to individuals who are essentially hypnotized? I think not. What we really need is more emphasis on accountability and responsibility for our behavior and I believe that message is part of what we should be learning at home.

%d bloggers like this: