A couple of years ago I was on my way home from work, it was December, raining, cold and I’d just walked two miles. I was just approaching my street when a loud group of youths came walking the other way down the narrow path which was separated from the road by a railing. Most of the group passed by me except one lad who was busy texting on his phone, not looking where he was going. I walked as close to the wall as I could and he passed by.
The next thing I know this lad is shouting at me about how I should look where I’m going and that I nearly knocked his phone out of his hand, I carried on walking while he continued to rant, apparently about how important and the centre of the universe he was and that I should have moved for his lordship.
Having had a really lousy day I turned, walked back and firmly told him that it was him not looking where he was going and was only looking at his phone – “yeah, cos I’m busy” he replied – working on a multi-million pound equity deal no doubt – while his friend held on to him and his girlfriend crowed “it’s not wurf it mate” to me.
I agreed with that at least so turned and carried on walking.
It turns out that this condition afflicts many people these days – the inability to move from one place to another without tweeting or updating facebook – so much so that in New York signs have been put up to try to prevent collisions in future.
The signs are actually the work of street artist Jay Shells who campaigns for better social etiquette and whose previous works have included signs about not flicking cigarette butts on the ground. Of course it’s not just pedestrian collisions that happen because of people not watching where they’re going, people have actually been hit by vehicles too so the message is serious.
So mind where you’re walking out there and if you’re reading this on the move for goodness sake LOOK UP!