January 14, 2009

It's OK To Be Disconnected

Banning cell phone usage

If you’re driving, focus on the road. If there’s a passenger, focus on the road. There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than a driver who’s looking at the passenger instead of the road ahead. The same applies to drivers talking on cell phones. We all know it doesn’t take long for someone to spin out or run a light and it can happen when a driver is focused elsewhere.

Then there are the public space intrusions!

The northbound subway ride is usually relatively quiet – until the train surfaces just before Armitage. Suddenly there are conversations popping up everywhere – with invisible people. No doubt everyone has heard some of the outlandish conversations loudly interrupting the ride. One recent one I couldn’t help hearing went like this: “Oh, Steve was soooo sick last weekend. He’s a beer drinker but Saturday night he was drinking scotch and soda at the party. He must have had 5-6 of them in pint glasses. He spent Sunday on the couch…..”

One morning on a packed purple line, a man was having a business conference call on the ride downtown. The train swayed tossing some of riders off balance resulting in verbal noise. He had the audacity to scowl at them though they had invaded his private office with rude behavior. It only opened the door for more conversation from those who paid the same amount for a train ride to work.

Then there are the walkers and talkers. They have catch up conversations with friends, arguments with lovers, and aren’t aware of their surroundings or the traffic lights. It would be prudent to offer a study on how many pedestrians are mugged or hit by vehicles because they were paying attention to their conversation instead of the street.

Cell phones are a necessity and I have one. But it’s the second phone my family and friends use if they’re trying to reach me. Otherwise, the conversation can wait until I’m home….where there are no distractions like muggers, or drivers running lights. Statistics on these incidents should be available too.

It’s really OK to be disconnected. Get to know yourself, read a book on the train, look out the window and just daydream!

No comments: