We have a problem in our society, and it's been getting worse over the years. Too many people are looking down at their phones. You can't walk along the street, stand in line at the grocery store, or even drive down the highway without seeing someone looking at their phone. Its gotten so bad you can't even have a conversation with some people, because they always playing with their phone. The phone has become permanently attached to their hands. It's become an addiction, and it's even a health risk.
A few issues brought this up.
First, I caught myself doing this. I was standing in line at the store, got bored, and started thumbing through the apps on my iPhone. A cashier came over to let me know another lane had opened, and I had to look up, focus, and fumble around to put my phone away so I could got check out.
My iPhone is my primary communications device. It's how family, friends, coworkers, and clients get hold of me. It's within reach at all times times. If it's not in my pocket; it's in my hands. And when I'm not no my person, it it's sitting on the desk at work, on the living room table when I'm watching TV, or the nightstand as I sleep. When did this happen? How did this object become tethered to me? I've become a minor member of the Borg collective.
Also my neck has been bothering me lately. Physically looking down is straining the muscles in my neck. You'll find many articles on "Text Neck" I'll link to a few in the show notes. This is a condition where you can actually damage your spine by looking down all the time. Not only do you injure the muscles attached to your spine, you can damage the nerves contained within. So look up.
Another issue strikes close to home. A few days ago and a few miles down the road from where I live, a lady driving down the highway was looking at her phone, not paying attention, and struck two people riding bicycles. She killed one of them, and sent the other to a trauma center. That right there is absolutely horrible. But it gets even more heartbreaking when you find out the two were bicycling across America to raise money for charity. They had just left Tulsa where they spent time working with Habitat For Humanity.
Looking at your phone while you're driving gets people killed. Is that clear enough for you.
On November 1st of this year, it will be illegal to text and drive in Oklahoma. If you're behind the wheel, law enforcement can and will pull you over if they catch you on your phone. It's a $100 fine. Think you can afford that? That's a small price to pay, if it prevents you from causing an accident.
So please lets all, me included, take this opportunity to evaluate how we use our phones.
Let's reduce the time we spend on it, especially when we're out in public. Put your phone in your pocket and look up. Talk to the people around you. See the scenery. Be aware of your environment.
What do you think?
Links from this episode
Look Up - A spoken word film for an online generation
What Texting Does to the Spine - The Atlantic
A Modern Spine Ailment: Text Neck - Spine Health
14-year-old diagnosed with 'text neck' - CNN
Man Bicycling Across America Killed In Oklahoma Wreck - News on 6
Oklahoma bans texting while driving - NewsOK
This episode's bonus interesting articles
This mesmerizing video shows how incredibly vast space really is - Vox
Google+ Is Alive and Well Despite Persistent Media Reports - eWeek
This episode's bonus musical selection
Criminal (cover) by Postmodern Jukebox ft. Ariana Savalas
Maybe An Angel by Heather Nova
Drive by Judge Jackson
This episode's bonus Audible book recommendation
Hyperion by Dan Simmons