Video games will turn our kids violent. The Internet will ruin our attention spans. Texting will ruin the art of coherent typing -- yeah, yeah, Grandpa, we get it. You're scared of technology.
But what's funny is that while all of the standard warnings turn out to be alarmist garbage, our geek toys are wreaking havoc in completely unexpected, and amazingly stupid, ways. For instance ...
5Absent-Minded Texters Are Constantly Injuring Themselves
You know the guy: He's veering right toward you, head down, eyes glued to whatever amazingly compelling narrative his buddies are texting him. Is it annoying? Yes. But it's not like these people are so out of it that they're constantly bonking their heads on obstacles or falling into holes. Except when they totally are.
Seconds later, four people were dead.
You already know that texting while driving is completely idiotic and even worse than drunk driving, but who can't handle shooting someone a quick text while simply walking down the street? A lot of us, apparently. Some cities -- and we are not making this up -- have fought the pinball-machine-like plague of zombie texters by padding their lampposts.
One day society will learn that some folks deserve their head injuries.
Meanwhile, cities like London have installed talking crosswalk signals at intersections to catch their attention. Hell, these are accommodations you'd normally associate with blindness -- you literally have to treat text-focused walkers as if they have lost their very eyes. Only they don't have other senses heightened to compensate.
Our nation's capital has even ramped up jaywalking tickets as a way to curb these blind digital locusts. In Indiana, a woman just plum fell 6 feet off of a pier.
As of yet, there hasn't been a true walking-while-texting risk study. But we know that in 2008, over 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms as a result of texting or chatting away on the phone while strolling down the street. And the trend just keeps spiraling upward. It's gotten so bad, there is now an app that can show the ground for you, so you don't have to worry about pesky things like oncoming people and walls and such.
Because the solution to this problem couldn't possibly be "slightly less texting."
And yes, people are dying from this. In a parking garage in Melbourne, a teen plunged seven stories down after walking over the safety barriers mid-text. A man in LA was hit by a semi truck while texting. One could surmise that this problem could be so bad, a texter could walk right into a bear and not even know it. Oh, hey, that totally happened: