#ItCanWait is probably one of the best PSA campaigns I’ve seen. The Western Cape Government has taken on the challenge of educating people about the risks of not just texting and walking, but texting and driving.
As the research points out, humans simply can’t multi-task. When we shift our attention to our phones, we take it away from what we should be doing:
The bottom line of the situation is that the concept of multi-tasking is a dangerous myth. While our brains can jump back and forth between tasks, we are simply not wired to do more than one thing at the same time. The multi-tasking myth can provide for amusing workplace badinage, but is deadly serious on the road. As the National Safety Council points out, brain activity in the areas that process moving images decreases by over 33% when we are talking on our phone. This means that we effectively become partially blind when we use our cell-phone while driving. This in turn, leads to collisions which can result in deaths and serious injuries. There is no call, and certainly no text message, so important that it is worth a human life: it can wait.
This tendency to text while doing things like walking, driving and riding bikes happens all the time in my neighbourhood. People do pretty stupid things while texting in my city:
- riding an electric bike (without a helmet);
- riding a hoverboard up a road (again, without a helmet); and, of course,
As it is, we spend way too much time staring at our devices. The prevalence of instant communication services reinforce this notion that each message deserves an instant response.
I’m dreading the inevitable accident when a teenager cruises into traffic mid-Snap one day. It shouldn’t happen but people can be pretty short-sighted, downright stupid even.
Image credit: Mike Wilson