Wednesday, April 27, 2016

City Embeds Traffic Signals To Alert Distracted "Smombie" Smartphone Addicts

Warning: Smombies, people who are glued
to their smart phones, are causing all sorts of problems.  
It's gotten this bad:

A German city has embedded traffic signals in a sidewalk for people so wrapped up in texting about their date last night that they can't be bothered to look up,  maybe, to not step out into traffic.

The traffic lights are in the sidewalks so that pedestrians staring at their cell phones without looking up will know whether the light at the intersection in Augsburg, Germany is green or red, reports the Washington Post. 

While of course I'm glad the fine city engineers in Augsburg are trying to save the lives of distracted smart phone addicts, I still wish we can get people to pay attention while they walk or drive instead of forwarding the latest Justin Bieber photo to their friends on Instagram or something.

However,  that's clearly a lost cause.

I know you can relate. How many times have you almost been slammed into by a driver who is texting his girlfriend because that's more important than the fact that you just stopped for a red light?

How many people have bumped into you on the sidewalk because they can't bear to look away from a smart phone for Just. One. Second. to share a goofball scene from Vine?

There's even a word for these people: "Smombies." That's a mashup of "smart phone and "zombies" and pretty accurately describes these phone obsessed idiots bumping  into you as you stroll the city streets.

No, nobody can wait to pull over to make that text, or lean against a building out of the way of sidewalk pedestrians to watch a quick video. Because other people don't matter.

I am sounding like a cranky old man. I do love playing with my phone, too. Can't live without that Twitter feed! But jeez, Twitter can wait for two seconds until I pull over into that parking lot and look.

According to the Washington Post: 

"A survey by the University of Washington found that one in three Americans is busy texting or working on a smart phone at dangerous road crossings. The Department of Transportation has established a clear connection between such habits and an increase in pedestrian deaths."

But that won't matter to Smombies. I believe they think we need to stop our cars and get out of their way because that Facebook post just can't wait.

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