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April 11, 2012

Lions, Tigers and Texts - Oh My!

By Braden Becker, Copy Editor

Texting while crossing the street or down a parking lot isn’t always dangerous, but it’s still not a good idea. Mobile users chronically underestimate the things they can walk into while glued to their device. Think about it. There are cars, curbs, people, trees, bears....

Classic mobile distraction met with 400 pounds of curiosity on April 10, as local Vaz Terdandenyan barely avoided a wild black bear, who wandered away from its home and onto the streets of La Crescenta, CA.

“I’m coming down the stairs and I see the bear coming up the stairs toward me,” said Terdandenyan, who was texting his boss that he would be late for work that day.

Despite the event’s rarity, The CA (News - Alert) local – who then had a great excuse for his tardiness – represents one of the biggest issues facing cell phone users today. Though not as dangerous as texting while driving, which has been officially banned in nine states since 2011, chronic mobile chatting is often a gateway to multitasking with several activities that require one’s full attention. 

Over 6,000 drivers die in car accidents as a result of a loss of focus every year, according to statistics in a press release from Iowa. Those who opt for hands-free devices should also take caution, as similar restrictions may accompany texting laws, in light of research from professors in Utah and Massachusetts, who claim headsets and voice control devices don’t always suffice.   

Less rural areas are obviously much worse off, and warrant similar attention. Though Goldilocks wasn’t driving that day in Cali, the Midwestern source surely suggests even texters on foot are just as vulnerable to distracted drivers as distracted drivers are to other distracted drivers.

Terdandenyan’s story is a comical reminder that after minutes of staring down at your phone, anything can stare back when you look up. Mobile connectivity is obviously valuable to the efficiency of individuals and businesses alike, but incessant use will always outweigh the advantages.

Just something to “bear” in mind.                                                                          




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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