Are you Aware of your General Surroundings and Behaviour?
Have you gotten too fixated into the virtual realm of your mobile devices that you are not noticing your surrounding?
I assume that if you are reading this article, it’s likely that you are not walking. Instead, you might be on your laptop or standing at a corner on public transport or even sitting down in a cafe. But, have you ever wondered what are those people browsing or consuming when they get stuck to their mobile devices while walking? It could be Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, YouTube, and other social media. We have had a term for them in recent years, “Phone-Zombie”.
Wiki defines “Phone-Zombie” as
a pedestrian who walks slowly and without attention to their surroundings because they are focused upon their smartphone.
I will surf my mobile phone when I am on public transport, in a cafe, or waiting for someone. It ranges from LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Emails, WhatsApp, Medium, and Libby. On some occasions, I will read my WhatsApp ad reply to messages when walking. However, when I am crossing the road, I will keep my head up and ensure that there isn’t any vehicle beating the pedestrian crossing, even when the lights are in my favour.
It is prevalent to see pedestrians walking on the pavement sticking their heads to their mobile devices. They are not aware of their general surrounding and assume that vehicles will give way to them when crossing the road. As a result, they are putting themselves and other road users at risk without knowing it. In a more extreme situation, one who is aware virtually and not physically might land themselves in personal danger to others lurking around for opportunities.
If you are reading this article in public places, look up and look around. Did you see those “phone zombies” around you who might be oblivious to their surroundings?
Yes, I agree that it is beautiful and mesmerising in the virtual world. But, we live in a physical world, Matrix asides, this is as real as it gets, and we need to be realistic to our reality. Enjoy and appreciate our physical surroundings instead of burying our heads into our mobile devices.
Come to think of it. Probably I need some time off from reading on Libby when I am travelling on public transport.