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Women Walks Off Cliff While Texting; YOLO?

Update Date: Oct 09, 2012 08:25 AM EDT
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An unintended consequence of our modern lives is distraction. How many people under thirty spend most of our time looking at our smartphones, iPods, held-held video games or some other device, while in the company of someone older than 50 years of age? Although you may think you can listen to Aunt Marge speak and check your Facebook at the same time, Aunt Marge and others think you are being rude.

If you grew in the 1980s, there were many articles concerning people walking around without the ability to hear sirens, impending car crashes or other potentially dangerous situations, all due the introduction of the Sony Walkman and its ear covering headphones blaring Duran, Duran directly to our brains.

Then came the beepers, cell phones and the Nintendo Gameboy. All contributing to distracted driving, missed stops on buses and trains and walking into random strangers. But, texting appears to be especially pernicious.

Many jurisdictions have laws which outright ban texting while driving and many PSAs are turned out to increase awareness of this dangerous act. Still, we don't learn our lesson. Every day there are stories of horrible mishaps of people getting hurt while sending or reading a text message and the internet is full of YouTube videos showing our family and friends trying to sit in a now non-existent chair or walking into patio doors all because of not paying attention due to texting.

Emergency personnel in Kodiak, Alaska responded to a woman who was badly injured and fell 60 feet down a cliff to rocks as the tide crept in along a Kodiak beach.

The woman, Maria Pestrikoff, fell off of a cliff while texting and discarding a cigarette butt. She slipped on wet grass and fell, her friend Anthony Burke told the Kodiak Daily Mirror in a story Wednesday.

"She was in the rocks between the boulders and she was calling for help," Burke said. "She was screaming in agony."

Pestrikoff suffered multiple injuries. She was stabilized, placed in a stretcher and lifted up the cliff. An ambulance took her to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, and she was flown to an Anchorage hospital. Ms. Pestrikoff survived the fall, and she is recovering in an Anchorage hospital.

This was just the latest in a series of noteworthy "texting while walking" accidents. A woman in Michigan walked off the end of a pier into the lake without missing a step because of her texting.

Texting while driving has become a near pandamic. In Texas, a student actually texted "I need to quit texting" and immediately drove off of a bridge. Aspiring rapper McKinness died in a crash in Ontario, Calif., at Creekside Drive and Haven Avenue after he ran a red light and skidded out of control and slammed into a wall, right after tweeting the horribly ironic message: "Driving tweeting sipping the cup f*** yolo [you only live once] I'm turning it up," 

Something must be done about this. If we are too stupid not to text and hurt ourselves, or if we are just too distracted by our beeping and flashing pockets, then technology must do the job for us. There must be someone in a lab somewhere in Japan or some guy in his garage in California with the way to save us from ourselves.

In short, there must be an App which can alert us to danger right before we hurt ourselves. If Suri can tell me the nearest Thai food restaurant, then she can tell me the traffic light is red.

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