Do Electronic Devices Encourage Dumb Habits?

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News Posted: Sat, Jan 22 2011 2:17 AM

We've all heard stories of people doing stupid things while using their cell phone. Just how attached are we to our phones? Many people would argue we're too attached. After all, numerous people have seriously injured or nearly killed themselves by accidentally walking into traffic or simply tripping and falling down while distracted by their phone. In addition, most of us have probably been bumped by someone who wasn't paying attention to where they were walking because they were too busy texting, checking email, or talking.

Recently, David Bauder from the Associated Press decided to conduct an experiment to see just how many people he encountered during a 25-minute daily walk that were immersed and distracted by the use of an electronic device. During 15 mornings in New York, Bauder found as many as 67 people who were distracted by an electronic device. On a rainy day, Bauder still managed to find 28 people who were distracted. On average, he found about one in 10 pedestrians were distracted.

Bauder's experiment brings to light the ways in which our favorite handheld gadgets have changed our society. His experiment also points out what a pain cell phone users have become in large cities—Instead of having to weave in and out of crowds of tourists gawking at nearby attractions, pedestrians in New York have become their own worst headache.

Certainly smartphones and other handheld devices aren't the first modern inventions to engulf our attention. Over time, it's quite likely society will develop new rules as to what's acceptable and what's not. After all, when cell phones first came out, many people didn't think twice about answering a call while in a movie theater or riding a commuter train. Now, such actions are frowned upon.

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realneil replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 6:51 PM

Ha Ha! Didn't some texting woman just walk/trip right into a pool of water at a Mall and get herself plastered all over the internet for her troubles?

She's all Lawyered-Up now and is suing the mall for not 'rushing to her aid'. (they were probably afraid that stupid rubs off on you)

Distracted driving is a crime as it should be, but being injured while 'distracted walking' is just over the top stupid.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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coolice replied on Sun, Jan 23 2011 3:01 PM

Of course its distracting! I hate it when people in the subway/ bus's have loud headphones... i cant read my paper/ book etc. Thats one perspective.

The other being texting while in class... sometimes its so damn distracting when the person next to you having a bbm convo with someone about how boring the lecture is... if tis boring, leave, dont irritate me. I've asked countless times when people in lectures start slamming their keys (typing), having convo's on msn.

Do it elsewhere, do it outside, move to the back of the class or something. Not saying everyone is as bad... but there are always those few kids who think they're cool mocking the professors etc.

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Maybe cell phone maker should make an App for collision detection in phones to avoid future lawsuit by these idiots.

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coolice replied on Sun, Jan 23 2011 4:31 PM

I believe samsung made an app/phone or were looking into it originally... the camera turns on and you can see the background while texting. Its a great idea, except, most of the the time, the camera will be picking up your feet rather than whats infront of you. haha.

Theres an iphone app for that:

http://www.techgoesstrong.com/text-safe-while-you-walk

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CJ100570 replied on Sun, Jan 23 2011 4:37 PM

Stupid people will do stupid things whether electronics are involved or not. We need to stop blaming devices and place the blame where it belongs, on the users!

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coolice replied on Mon, Jan 24 2011 1:33 PM

True say CJ, ... texting while driving. I've almost been into accidents even though i'm NOT texting and the douche next to me is, while driving 60kph (~40mph).

Scary

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Jan 24 2011 2:03 PM

I personally love getting lunch and sitting around a Bronze statue of a guy hailing a cab in the summer and watching peoiple walk into the statue. Its fun.

 

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realneil replied on Mon, Jan 24 2011 4:13 PM

digitaldd:
I personally love getting lunch and sitting around a Bronze statue of a guy hailing a cab in the summer and watching peoiple walk into the statue.

That would be a lot of fun to see,.......

coolice:
I've almost been into accidents even though i'm NOT texting and the douche next to me is, while driving 60kph (~40mph).

And that's why I have an incredibly LOUD Ooogah Horn in my truck. You should see them throw down those phones when they think that they're about to die! All that cool goes out the window in a flash.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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digitaldd replied on Tue, Jan 25 2011 9:05 AM

realneil:

digitaldd:
I personally love getting lunch and sitting around a Bronze statue of a guy hailing a cab in the summer and watching peoiple walk into the statue.

That would be a lot of fun to see,.......

 

You have no idea how fun it is, the statue is actually almost in the middle of the sidewalk. Well not really but its close enough where it happens at least 2 times per hour. perfect for a lunch break. ;)

 

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