Texting While Walking: The Proper Technique


Casey Neistat, the guy who brought you that video on bike lanes in which he willingly crashed into whatever happened to be parked in said bike lanes for PSA purposes, has brought us another informative guide to living in the city. This latest Op-Ed, with video that merges the old-timey PSA-style of our youth with modern-day OMGs, published in the New York Times, is about what we like to call “death by Smartphone”: the likelihood that we are going to be hit by a car, bicycle, or other fast-or-not-even-moving, heavy object (human, perhaps?) while we stare, entranced, into our phone and keep our feet moving in the direction of our hoped-for destination. Because, like rubbing your tummy and talking, or chewing gum and blow-drying your hair, texting and walking is hard! And what is difficult is often dangerous. This is why we have the Darwin Awards.

Neistat writes, “While there’s little current data about the number of people injured while texting, more than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2008 after they were injured while using a cellphone to talk or text. That had doubled each year since 2006, according to a study conducted by Ohio State University.”

He suggests that in order to combat the growing challenges (and dehumanization) involved with texting while walking — and so that humans are not wiped out completely by this scourge — we all master the proper etiquette of doing so. Proper technique? “Putting your back against a wall and standing in one place as you text, allowing foot traffic to safely flow by.”

Personally, we employ the “pull over to the side and text” method frequently, but not as frequently as we should, because we are busy people and we enjoy getting to our destination on time more than we enjoy etiquette. Also, it’s exciting!

Anyway, wouldn’t the best etiquette of all be to walk and not even look at your phone? Of course, that’s like Emily Post-league shit. Let’s just all wear body armor instead.

Texting While Walking [NYT]

Related: The 15 Worst Kinds of Pedestrians in New York City