Linda Hall: Don't let 'instant life' rule yours

By Linda Hall

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Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.
Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.

Did you know that texting while walking can affect a person's balance, leaving them prone to being hit by motor vehicles? You did? So did I.

I managed to work that out all by myself. However, it took a team of scientists from the University of Queensland an entire study to work it out.

It amazes me what subjects warrant studies and reports.

Did we really need a team of most likely highly-paid scientists to tell us that "in a pedestrian environment the inability of texters to maintain their balance or walk in a straight path may impact the safety of people who text and walk at the same time".

Really? Well I never.

Want to know something else they found out? "Headphones and music is also an issue as it removes one of your senses - hearing - that could alert you to danger or a vehicle coming."

Holy moley, that is really ground-breaking research.

Maybe I'm being a little bit harsh but really this is all just common sense.

Of course people who are texting or emailing aren't concentrating on where they are going. And everybody knows that listening to music while walking or running around the streets can be dangerous.

We really don't need a study to tell us that. I'd like to know who pays for these studies. Is it the Government, therefore the taxpayer? If so, please use the scientists to study something more worthwhile, such as why it's been so bloody windy lately.

Or even better, what is it about iPhones that is so addictive?

I was talking to a young woman recently who said she had just bought a new phone.

She said she was trying her best to make sure it didn't rule her life. But even though she still hadn't worked out how to work half the apps on it, she found herself constantly checking it and at night it was right beside her bed.

When I was in Fiji last year at a beautiful resort there were two young women having dinner at an outdoor restaurant a couple of tables in front of me.

The scenery was beautiful - sea, sand and setting sun. Were they looking at the scenery? No. Were they talking to each other? No. They were both using their phones. They would put them down for a few minutes and then pick them up again.

I was amazed. Here they were, obviously on holiday which they probably had to save hard for but, instead of enjoying every minute of their time in an incredible and beautiful place and enjoying each other's company, they were most likely texting people back home - people who I am sure could have waited until after dinner at least to catch up on the news.

I see groups of youngsters walking around looking at their phones nearly every day. They appear not to be talking to each other, just texting. So what is the point of being with your friends if everyone is busy texting someone else? I don't get it.

Our lives have become so instant. No sooner has something happened than it's all over Facebook or people are texting about it.

I have heard about people getting really upset that guests at weddings have shared photos of bridal groups before the bride and groom have even had a chance to kiss.

People need to stop and think about what they share with the world.

The way Facebook works it's not only your friends who see the posts, it's friends of friends and then friends of those friends.

What you put up is really public property - so think carefully about it.

iPhones and computers have really put an end to the days of getting away from it all.

It doesn't matter where you are these days, there is always someone nearby talking or texting on a phone. Why can't we all just talk to each other?

- Hawkes Bay Today

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