Wednesday, January 22, 2014

News You Can't Use: You Can't Walk Straight While Texting, Study Confirms

I'm a walking dude. As such I'm pretty interested in exciting new developments in the field of upright mobility. Sadly, the best we're going to get is another "Texting is bad, stop it!" article to throw on the pile. Sorry guys, it's of vital importance that someone I barely even like gets that important "lol, wut a werld" update.

Texting can make you drive like a drunk. Now a new study shows that texting can also make you walk like a robot.

Robots, of course, are industrial devices used for dangerous and/or repetitive jobs that really don't "walk" at all. I applaud the author for trying to avoid another "zombie" reference, but that simile's utility is like a clock radio from 1973.

Researchers found that healthy people who read or send texts while hoofing it show subtle but potentially hazardous changes to their gait.

My healthy trot, ruined!

As pedestrians busily tap and flick, they swerve more, walk more slowly and move their heads, arms and torsos in a stiff, graceless fashion that makes them more prone to falling when confronted with an obstacle.

If we don't start closing the smooth moves gap this is creating we'll all lose out. We must restore the soulful strut.

Also, crashing into things is bad, I guess.

"Reading and texting on a phone influence your ability to walk, but the problems we see are much greater when you text than when you read,"

They're even greater when you drink, like, eight beers and put a sack over your head. Because we need to put everything on some type of continuum or it won't make sense.

Smartphone-wielding pedestrians have made the news and the upper ranks of YouTube by walking off piers, falling onto train tracks and blundering into fountains, but the accidents aren't always comic.

There's a difference between "comical misery" and "tragic misery." Off a pier or into tracks is funny, we are told.

In one high-profile incident, a 15-year-old girl in Maryland was hit by a car and killed in 2012 while looking at her phone, and a recent rise in U.S. pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents has been attributed partly to cellphone use.

We were all having a good healthy laugh at people falling into unforgiving steel rails and then some kill-joy is all "That ain't funny, man. Some jail bait on the east coast died like that."

Even though all 26 subjects were seasoned texters, spending an average of 30 minutes a day texting, they still couldn't walk normally as they texted.

They still couldn't spell words normally or preserve any dignity, either.

It's not entirely clear why the walk of a texting pedestrian is distorted.

Yeah, it's such an impenetrable mystery. Clearly a lot more tax-dollar funded research is needed.

Or perhaps the multitasking of walking while attending to a text overwhelms the brain, which then prioritizes that cool app over keeping to the straight and narrow.

Brain...overwhelmed...massive system failure...walking like robot...smooth moves lost...not a kool kat, not anymore...

Don't you mean "robots."

The study is "excellent," says Stony Brook University's Lisa Muratori, a behavioral neuroscientist who was not involved in the new research and who has also studied walking during cellphone use.

This study is just totally righteous, declared some unrelated individual with an impressive-sounding title with little, if any, practicality.

"In a healthy person it shouldn't cause a fall, necessarily, but a trip over a curb into a street is a big problem."

Do it in an empty pasture and you should be fine.

The increased head movement reported in the study "is a really bad thing for gait," says University of Pittsburgh bioengineer April Chambers, who was not involved in the research.

Thank you for adding no new information and having a name better suited to "adult" entertainment.

Full Article.

Komment Korner

I've been bashed into head on by people walking and texting in the mall. You try to swerve out of their way but it's not always successful.

I was amazed to see that this was a serious article/study. I expected this to be an Onion story.

After the implant you will be able to drive, walk, run, take a bath, engage in sexual encounters and at the same time send and receive insulting comments from USA Today readers.

For years, I have been trying to make people aware of this hazard.

Turn your units off

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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