It’s time to legislate against stupidity: no more texting while walking


Texting from the top

Texting while walking: the new stupid (Image by zenturia via Flickr)

Sigh. Really. I just heard the latest in the demise of intelligent thought and reasonable behavior among the American people. And no, I’m not talking about Congressman Anthony Weiner. This stupidity is related to the addiction known as texting. It turns out that many people stupidly text while walking. Although anyone with the common sense of a caterpillar ought to know that it’s dangerous to walk along without watching where you’re going, apparently many do not, or are so engaged in this stupid behavior that common sense is pushed aside. Because, OMG, what could possibly be more important than texting? 

 Turns out research done by Ohio State University has shown that 1,000 people suffered injuries from texting while walking. In 2008, one teen textwalker was hit by a car and died. So, because of this stupidity, some states are feeling compelled to make laws against stupidity, by making it illegal to text and walk. A clear case of how our wise state governing bodies feel compelled to intervene to protect us from…ourselves. One might postulate that anyone stupid enough to text while walking, may in fact also be too clueless to realize there is a law against it, or to realize that they should obey said law. Never mind. We’ll just enact another law, maybe one making it illegal to ignore laws that were enacted for our own good.

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2011/05/24/texting-while-walking

Definition of stupidity: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stupid

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28 thoughts on “It’s time to legislate against stupidity: no more texting while walking

  1. It’s pretty sad. Texting while walking is pretty bad, but how about texting while driving, texting while out with friends or parents, texting while being a spectator at sports events, and for gods sake, texting while at a movie? I have seen or heard of all these stupidities. Will the human race devolve into two hands attached to a head?

    I like not this trend.

    • I’m with you Sandra. I could have gone on and on about this one. Texting has gotten out of hand. What happened to talking? What happened to good manners?

    • i couldnt agree more with Sandra. Texting while driving is equally bad if not worse than DUI. But I am for freedom of people and lesser governance. Legislation doesnt always solve all problems. what we need is to better educate people. but certainly something must be done.
      great post!
      cheers,

      • Thanks. Maybe if we could send them all texts warning them not to text while walking – that might do it. The Obama campaign amassed a huge collection of cell phone numbers – we could start with that batch!

  2. Hmmmm. So, if someone is walking with a book of sudoku puzzles, filling them out with a chewed up pencil, they won’t get a ticket–just the person texting. These laws are ridiculous and sooooo specific. You can’t drive and talk on your cell, but I’ve seen people reading novels (sadly, none of them were mine 😉 ) on the highway while they were driving. Is there a law against that? Or how about the person eating a messy, huge hamburger with two hands while driving with their knees. No law? Is one more dangerous than the other? Do they have people out in the field measuring these things? Jeez, sometimes I think we are the laughingstock of the world.

    • What do you mean “sometimes” Margaret? I think we are most of the time. The country with the most opportunities for education and we seem to be producing more and more stupidity. As you and Coming East so aptly put, we can’t outlaw every single stupid thing that someone might decide to do – like Sudoko-walking or running with scissors.

  3. Not too long ago, a woman was texting while walking in a mall. She ended up falling into a fountain. To top it off, she was mad because the mall security guards were laughing about it. Sure glad that I don’t text while walking!

    • That’s the part I don’t understant – if people insist on texting while walking, and then get hurt or run into something, how is it not their fault? She should be mad at herself, not the security guards.

    • that was on AFV……my stomach hurt from laughing so hard 🙂 HOWEVER i have come very close to running into things while walking and texting 😦

  4. The other day I was on a local campus looking for a parking space down a side-street and a student was walking down the middle of street texting. It wasn’t crowded so I did an experiment: I stopped my car, put in in park and let the student keep walking. Sure enough, she walked right into the front of my car. She looked up confused and apparently annoyed. I lowered my window and said, “You know, someone else might have kept moving thinking you’d see them…” All I got in return was the finger. She returned to texting on the sidewalk.

  5. As bad and stupid as it is to talk and text, what is even more ridiculous is that some states are considering making a law against it. You can’t legislate against every stupid thing that people do! Is there a law against running with scissors? If not, people may think it’s okay.

  6. Obviously, this is not a post read by young people, otherwise there would not be such one-sided support for the law. There was stupidity and distractions before cell phones existed. To single them out is petty, and to think it will really solve many problems is juvenile. You just can’t legislate against stupidity; it’s time we learned that.

    • It’s true that we can’t legislate against stupidity – but the legislation is an attempt to save stupid people from themselves – the same way that some people are too stupid to wear seat belts, motorcycle helmets and the like. While I can’t speak to the age of the people who read this post, I believe I have readers of all ages, young people included. I think that those who text while walking, driving, or doing other things that they should not be doing while texting, is more about selfishness and lack of common sense. It’s not singling out young people, it’s singling out those too self-centered to think about the consequences of their actions. I for one would be quite upset if I accidentally killed someone who stupidly stepped out in front of my car because they were texting instead of paying attention.

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