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It can wait: Don’t text and walk

Dylan Dewit

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Illustration by Miles Huffman

Earlier this week, I had an experience that left me terrified and extremely annoyed.

I was walking to my class in Butte 201 around 12:14 p.m. I made my way up the west-side stairs, and as I was about to turn the corner, I heard the building’s doors swing open. Out came a mob of students fresh out of class.

Nothing too terrifying. Except that every single one of them were eyes-down, looking at their cell phone screen, choosing a song to play in their headphones or in the middle of composing an important text message.

I came to halt, and braced myself for these charging, negligent pedestrians eager to get the hell out of the building.

My fate was sealed.

At that moment, I was Mufasa, and these hurried students were the stampede of wildebeests that would be the end of me.

Heads down, they rushed out the doors, colliding with one another on their way to the staircases.

I had no choice but to take them head on. I turned my body slightly, lowered my shoulder and braced for impact. One guy scrolling through his twitter feed, trying to make up for the hour and fifteen minutes he had been away, knocked me into the cement wall.

I recovered, and continued forward.

A girl attempting a snapchat selfie crashed into me, shook her head out of disgust because I had bumped her arm, and carried on.

Finally I grabbed hold of the door handle, and held on until they had emptied out. All that was left was me and some of my classmates that had been taken victim to the mob as well. They lied trampled on the cement, battered and bruised, calling out for a medic like a scene out of a World War I movie.

Yes, that story has since been dramatized, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this tendency to unlock our iPhones and start burning through data immediately after the end of class doesn’t need addressing.

When you’re walking, please put the phone away. It’s inconsiderate, irresponsible, obnoxious and possibly dangerous for you or the people around you. If you need to use the phone, treat it like you’re driving: pull over and stop.

People shouldn’t have to yield to you as you walk down the stairs with your head down. So get to a safe place away from the crowd, and then use your phone.

I’m still recovering from my experience that day, and I don’t want to ever relive it.

Dylan de Wit can be reached at [email protected] or @DylanTdeWit on Twitter.

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It can wait: Don’t text and walk