Constant texting distracting, deadly

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    According to Newsmax.com, the country’s finest bastion of unbiased journalism next to The Christian Science Monitor, 40 percent of cell phone users used their phone for text messaging by 2007, with the average texter sending 188 messages per month.

    I’m surprised it’s not more than that, seeing as how most people ages 12 to 25 spend half of their day furiously finger-smashing their cell phone’s keypad and not being productive or interesting members of society.

    We’ve all been out with friends who bust out their phones to text their girlfriend/boyfriend/therapist/cat every two minutes.

    Spending an evening with these people ranks somewhere between being force-fed chlorine tablets and having a large Jamaican man named “Sprinkles” repeatedly smack you upside the head with a dictionary.

    Nothing makes you feel more unwanted than sitting across from someone who is neglecting both food and polite conversation for “OMG did U see Grys Antmy last nite?” or “LOLZ I faild my tst, do u thnk its bcz I txt all day?”

    Why do people try to live in two worlds at once these days?

    You have the real world right in front of you, which features great things such as fluffy kittens, attractive members of the opposite sex and bakery-fresh cinnamon rolls.

    Then there’s the world of text messaging, in which you feed your new plastic god with offerings of unproductive drivel to send to all of your friends. This god will also break two weeks before you are due for a free upgrade. Thanks, AT&T.

    Not a day goes by when I don’t see some unsuspecting student walking toward South University Drive while texting a friend about how much . er . apple juice they are going to drink this weekend. In true professional texter fashion, the student’s head remains down as he or she is thoroughly engrossed in an electronic conversation about Smirnoff Ice.I mean, Tree Top apple juice.

    Then, like clockwork, the walking texter will almost get plowed to Hades by an oncoming 18-wheeler if not for the forearm of some good Samaritan.

    I am not kidding when I say I have seen that exact scenario play out nearly 10,000,000 times since Thursday.

    Is anything in our world that urgent? Do the bored text mumblings of our friends in class really merit severe head trauma and a collapsed lung? Would you be interested in dating a newspaper columnist? Wait, where was I going with that?

    At least said texter is minimizing his or her killing abilities by texting on foot, as others are all too keen to do it behind the wheel.

    Text messaging while driving may seem like a bad idea – right up there with concrete flippers and asbestos-laced fruit snacks, but people still seem to do it all the time.

    These human examples of natural selection usually text in conjunction with cooking a pizza and playing Grand Theft Auto IV on a PlayStation 3 built into their center console. This activity usually takes place at night on poorly lit rural roads or in heavy fog.

    I would like to say this is an exaggeration, but over the summer I saw some guy texting as he ran a red light, almost running over an entire family on a leisurely bike ride. Not only was he texting, but he was also turned completely around to tie his kid’s shoe.

    My brain almost exploded at this man’s sheer carelessness.

    Text messaging in the car is such a problem, in fact, that Minnesota and a number of other states have banned texting while driving.

    According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, distraction was a factor in at least 15 percent of all fatal crashes in the state from 2005 to 2007, resulting in 240 deaths. Distracted driving also resulted in 1,163 serious injuries during that same period. Not cool.

    Also, texting might have played a role in the Los Angeles area train crash that killed 25 people two weeks ago, as the National Transportation Safety Board discovered the engineer of a commuter train was sending and receiving text messages on the job that day. However, it is unclear whether he was texting immediately before he hit a freight train.

    But what to do? How can one walk down the street or drive a car without one’s precious text messages?

    What could we use our cellular telephones for besides text messaging?

    Oh yeah, how about calling people? That way we can keep our eyes focused on where we’re going and experience alllife has to offer.

    In the words of everyone’s favorite slacker, Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

    David Hall is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood.