Of Course I’m Paying Atten….WOW! Oink Oinks!

Look, honey, I gotta go. There's some idiot with flashing red lights trying to pass me.
Look, honey, I gotta go. There's some idiot with flashing red lights trying to pass me.
It’s been an interesting day here at the World News Center. While it started as the kind of day where everyone was a focused world beater, it quickly devolved into a day where everyone was searching the web for stories about pigs. Well, as our producer likes to say, “Thank God for the Interweb!” After the obligatory Pigs In Space, starring C3PO and friends, and a couple of cursory sites about Gummy Bacon, it was off to serious concerns. “Such as,” you ask? Well, such as the nice German man who was attacked by flying pig’s knuckles. Or maybe the minor faux pas on a recent EasyJet flight where they tried to pass off an all pork menu on an Israeli flight. Sadly, they discovered there’s no such thing as Kosher Ham.

That revelation, likes its porcine counterparts referenced above, just flew over the heads of everyone sitting to my right.

Oh well.

But while our staff may be easily distracted, and currently trading kewt kitty videos, I am not.

No siree Bob. You don’t climb to the lofty heights of being the Senior Reporter at Nude Hippo’s World News Center without being on the ball. Which is why that, instead of being distracted, I’m going to write about distractions.

Before I begin, in a continued effort at journalistic transparency, I must tell you two things. First, I’m about as limber as a brick. Second, last July, a nice lady talking on a cell phone, while eating a burger, smoking and driving, forced me to attempt some Cirque du Soleil level acrobatics to avoid being crushed by her Camry.

In other words, I’m a touch sensitive when it comes to distracted drivers.

Reuters reports that I am not alone.

Whether is it texting during dinner, talking on a cellphone in a public restroom or using a laptop while driving, most people think mobile etiquette is getting worse, not better.

Ninety one percent of U.S. adults questioned in a new poll by computer innovation company Intel said they have seen people misuse technology, and three quarters think mobile manners have decreased in the past year.

“New digital technologies are becoming a mainstay in consumers’ lives, but we haven’t worked out for ourselves, our families, communities and societies what all the right kinds of behaviours and expectations will be,” said Genevieve Bell, the head of interaction and experience research at Intel.

The poll of 2,000 adults revealed that most U.S. adults wished people practised better mobile etiquette and found the lack of cellphone manners extremely annoying, even though about 20 percent admitted to poor etiquette themselves.

Nearly 75 percent said the lack of mobile manners has created a new form of public rage and 65 percent admitted they became angry around people who misused mobile devices.

The most annoying behaviours were the use of mobile devices during driving, followed by talking on a cellphone loudly in a public place and walking in the street while texting or talking on the phone.

People reported seeing, on average five mobile offenses every day, according to the poll. Nearly a quarter said they had even seen someone using a laptop while driving, and one in five said they checked their mobile devices before getting out of bed in the morning.

As I have previously noted, there are even some people who text during sex. Never with me, mind you, but they do exist.

Personally, I don’t get the fascination or the need. When I was a kid my grandfather would routinely ignore a ringing phone if he was doing something else. He always used to say “People are either calling to borrow money I don’t have, tell me someone’s dead who I can’t resurrect or waste my time, which I don’t want to do.” He also would mention that no one ever calls to tell you they’re on their way over with the money they borrowed. You have to call them to get that.

All these decades later, I can’t see that he was wrong.

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