Are there not enough distractions today with children, aging parents, rising costs and stressful jobs that we have to seek out further distractions? These distractions and responsibilities most often result in multi-tasking, squeezing in one chore or task while doing another, resulting in neither being given your full attention or being done well.
We all know the laws against distracted driving and the penalties, but what about distracted living?
Next time you see a young parent pushing a stroller, have a good look. In all likelihood they have in ear-buds or are on the phone engaged in a lively discussion with someone other than the child in their care. Their personal distraction, be it music or chat, is far and above more important than the potential for engagement with the child in the stroller. Sadly, their walk becomes a missed opportunity for both to chatter on about the birds, a passing dog or general silliness.
Get in your elevator some time. Are you able to exchange pleasantries with those sharing the ride up or down? Or, are they glued to their phone catching up on the latest antics and postings of their friends on social media, completely oblivious to you or the important notice on the elevator notice board about the following day’s water shut-down. Guess who is calling Security the next morning with a head full of shampoo and no water!
Recently, a visitor to a building was so involved and distracted by the phone/text conversation under way that they walked straight into a large snow bank and fell. This of course was not their fault, it was the fault of the landscaper for putting it there, and a multi-million dollar lawsuit was launched. Yet another resident was walking and texting on a rainy morning, and he slipped and fell down. What was his first instinct? Find the phone and check to see if it was broken, as it had skittered off during the incident. Yes, another lawsuit. In both cases neither individual was engaged in their surroundings, because if they had been, they would have avoided the falls, and the Corporations much expense. Is it time to have similar laws about distracted walking?
While on vacation recently, it was surprising to see the number of people, on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, spending hours on end, checking their phones, taking calls, on social media, completely distracted by their life at home. The real distraction was miles white sandy beach, turquoise waters, fluffy clouds in the blue sky, the roar of the surf and laughably, the occasional fellow in a bad Speedo.
Good thing there will be couple of nice selfies posted on Facebook to remember it all.