Thursday, August 09, 2012

Pay Attention!

Recently on the evening news I saw a film of a man so busy texting that he walked off a train platform and fell several feet onto the train tracks. Fortunately for the man no train was approaching. I am all for being in the moment and I encourage the practice of mindfulness but let’s get real people. When you are so busy texting someone that you walk off a train platform and you fall on the tracks, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how you spend your time and the importance of whatever message you were sending. As a result of this event, some lawmaker is proposing that a new law be created where people could be ticketed for “reckless walking”. I see such reckless walking in my office every day. I’ve had people who are talking on their cell phone or texting run into me. When I take my daily walks I often have to swerve around such “reckless walkers”. As long as I am complaining about this type of behavior, let me add the people who are obsessed with their blue tooth devices. I can’t even tell you how many people I have responded to in our elevators because I thought they were talking to me. It turned out they were totally oblivious to my presence or they simply didn’t care that I was there. I see these people at the Mall all the time. Walking through the Mall, babbling away about God knows what, makes them look like prime candidates for a mental institution. We are so obsessed with communication, with being in 24 hour contact with everyone we know, and with being “connected”. All this “talking” and I bet little of consequence is actually being said. I, too, have a smartphone and I do value it’s convenience. It’s nice to be able to contact those I care about when I need to do so and I, too, occasionally “check-in” on Facebook. However, I am not going to walk off a train platform while I am texting my wife to see what she wants to do for dinner. I admit that I often walk around listening to music through my headphones. However, when I do this I know where I am and what is going on around me. OK, there was that one time I was jamming away to whatever I was playing on my iPod and my desk telephone was ringing off the hook and co-workers in the next aisle were yelling my name and I didn’t hear them either. I guess I was guilty of “reckless sitting”.

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