Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cell phones can be quite useful

I use my 'computer phone/handheld computer', as YKWIA puts it, quite a bit, although I never text in the car, and generally only answer the phone when I can pull over, because I know I'm not dexterous enough to drive and answer the thing at the same time, much less keep my attention on the road while talking on it.

That said...

Friday, two things happened that made me shake my head at just how attached people are getting to their cell phones. Oh, those of us with them (and I have two friends who do not have cell phones, smart or otherwise), experience a pang of anxiety (or more) if they're left at home. But then there are the following two cases:
  1. I'm leaving my apartment complex for work on Friday morning. I see a young girl, probably a high school student with book bag, texting while walking, her earbuds in her ears, totally oblivious to the her surroundings. I stop, seeing her in time, but she doesn't see me, and proceeds to walk in front of my car across the driveway. Then, halfway in front of my car, she finally looks up, realises she is in front of my car, and rather than crossing on ahead, turns perpendicularly and crosses the road right in front of me, rather than getting out of the way first, still looking down at her phone, without looking either way before crossing the street. That child is likely likely going to die at some point with behaviour like that. I was alert and watching out for her. A lot of people wouldn't be. I am living proof that you can get injured by a car while doing all the right things--crossing with the crosswalk, being alert, not listening to music, not on a cell phone. She is just asking for trouble. YKWIA said he'd have sped up and hit her just because of her stupidity. While I certainly disagree with doing that, folks, there is this thing called evolution. Do not be the person who gets on the Darwin Awards list. And then there is this...
  2. Man killed by roller coaster was looking for lost wallet, cell phone, mother says [He jumped over a fence into a restricted area, and was struck by the roller coaster car.] A cell phone is no reason to die. Yes, a wallet is important. Yes, I can see wanting a cell phone back--although if you lost it at 57 mph, I'm not sure it would have survived. But...why not just report the loss to the ride operators and see if they can find it either by shutting down the ride for a few minutes, or after close? I'd rather be patient, and let them send it to me if they couldn't retrieve it on the spot, than risk death. I just don't understand.
These are our modern cautionary tales, I suppose. But the upshot is, please, a cell phone isn't worth dying over. Be careful out there, and don't let it take over your life to the point of taking it.

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