How to text safely (hint: look out for any bears)
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 12 April 2012
The perils of texting while walking are obvious: if you're concentrating on how many kisses to leave at the end of a message, you're more likely to wander into traffic, stroll into a lamp post or fall into an open manhole.
Vaz Terdandenyan of La Crescenta, California, faced a very different kind of danger when he looked up from his phone to himself eyeball to eyeball with a 400-pound black bear. Terdandenyan, whose swift retreat was filmed by a news helicopter (ind.pn/textbear), told reporters his recent marathon training had proved unexpectedly useful. For those without such an advantage, a number of apps exist to reduce the hazards of texting and walking simultaneously. Among them are Text Vision and Type n Walk, which use your smartphone's camera to superimpose your text over a live feed of the street ahead.
A less hi-tech method is the "slipstream technique", whereby you walk directly behind someone else, allowing them to assess and avoid potential obstacles. Alternatively: stand still, idiot.
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