Column: Don’t text and walk

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Column: Don’t text and walk

An epidemic is slowly spreading throughout the world. Teens were the original targets, but now the disease attacks anyone who allows it. Dramatic commercials should be made to remind people how important this issue is. Texting while walking continues to destroy lives.

I don’t know about you, but I find walking in the halls after the bell rings incredibly annoying. Students walk out of their classrooms and automatically pull out their phones. If you’re in the Alumni Building, walking down the stairs after the bell is a tedious task. People walk more slowly because they’re busy checking their texts, social media apps or making calls. And half the time, people check their phones just because they’re bored or don’t like making eye contact with people.

When I’m walking to class and see another student glued to his phone, I walk toward him to see if he’ll notice. A few times, we’ve bumped into each other because the person on the phone isn’t paying attention. People usually feel awkward and say, “Sorry,” but as soon as they walk away from me, they’re back on their phone.

Phones and technology as a whole are great resources, but they can be abused. Phones, whether you’re texting or calling, are a type of communication; they’re not supposed to eliminate other kinds of communication. We live in an era where saying “hi” to strangers is awkward. But why? Saying “hello” or asking someone how their day is going isn’t weird—it’s polite. Instead of grabbing your phone when you’re walking by someone, greet them with a smile. You don’t know what kind of impact you’re making on someone’s day.

Besides saying hello to strangers, consider leaving your phone in your room sometimes. Crazy idea, I know. But trust me, it’s worth it. I’ve done it a couple of times for a few hours, and I was encouraged by the change. I was no longer staring at a screen, but interacting with people around me. Try it once to see how it goes.

And if anything, please don’t text and walk. Not only is it rude, but you also look ridiculous.