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May 7, 2011
We were in the production process of filming real people in TriBeCa as they walked while listening to headphones or pushed baby carriages while texting, when we saw that ABC beat us to it (see video).
Texting and constantly checking one’s smartphone during inappropriate times (i.e. nonstop for many) has become a genuine addiction that likely triggers the same neuropathways of reward as does gambling. Just as people in the 1950’s through 1990’s were forced to watch and smell the crass behavior is cigarette addicts, we are now forced to be insulted at meals, bumped into by text walkers, run over by mothers pushing baby carriages while texting, and so on.
Using a more serious analogy, just as hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered on our highways by drunk drivers prior to MADD movement and stricter state laws, texting while driving is a significant cause of highway mortality.
When Blackerries were invented, they were expensive and meant only for Wall Street executives. They were not meant for teenagers. As the technology evolved, a weapon of mass destruction, on par with prescription pain pills, was unleashed upon America.
As the media covers this addiction more, and social terms are invented to describe the crass and rude behavior, modern society will adopt new rules of etiquette. For the more serious consequences of driving, new laws will curtail those activities.