Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grocery Shopping with Cart Wielding Zombies!

While I consider cell phones to be the root of all that is evil, they aren't the only technological devices that can turn a human into a zoned-out zombie. Take the iPad, for example.

In the UK, a leading supermarket chain is adding iPad docking stations to their shopping carts. No, really, they are. When you first hear this, it sounds like a great idea - Never miss another episode of Jersey Shore again!! - once you think this one through, you can see it for the bad idea it really is.

Imagine a bunch of iPad zombies, watching the soccer match to the exclusion of everything else, wielding METAL SHOPPING CARTS full of food through narrow grocery store aisles. Grocery stores full of little old ladies shopping for cat food and kids that won't stop screaming for candy. What you have here is a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately for us, the grocery store chain has already prepared for this scenario. The new shopping cart "features proximity sensors, meaning users won’t accidentally bump into other shoppers while watching the iPad."

Attention, world. We already have "proximity sensors". They're called EYES. And if you didn't have them glued to your iPad, you'd be able to see the little old ladies and screaming children in your path. Instead of proximity sensors, how about we concede that this is not a good idea. I think we can all do without our iPad stimulus for the short duration of our shopping trip.

Although slamming a few carts into screaming kids... no. I won't go there ;)

Step Away from the Phone...

You see them everywhere. At school, at work, in the mall, in restaurants... driving their cars. Cell Phone Zombies - people who are so engrossed in their cell phone that they've lost touch with reality and the things going on around them. They have become so prevalent that they've gone beyond being a simple annoyance to being a genuine threat to our relationships, our society, and even to our lives.

No one is going to deny that bumping into, or having to swerve to avoid, a person who is staring at their phone instead of paying attention to where they're going is annoying. How many dinners or social events have been spoiled by one party (or even the whole party...) receiving text messages, checking their Facebook profile, or "Having to take this call..."

Then there are friends and family who have completely tuned out. Even at home, people stare at phones instead of talking to their spouses or kids. The increased zombification of our society has lead to many alienated spouses who can't even get the attention of their partner away from the phone long enough to interact.

And then there's driving. Driving and talking on the phone. Driving and texting. One study (I'll provide sources in future blogs) indicates that nearly 25% of all traffic accidents are related to cell phone use, and that texting while driving is six times (yes SIX!!) more deadly than driving while intoxicated. Yet how many times have you looked over at the car next to you and seen a phone attached to a head, or someone staring at their phone? It happens all the time.

My goal in this blog is to try to stave off the Cell Phone Zombie apocalypse before it gets out of hand. A grass roots movement, as it were. I hope that those of you who are fully zombified or well on your way to it can see a little of yourself in the message. If we all just step away from the phone for a minute, we can turn this ship around before it sinks. And really, how many of us would even know it was sinking? We're too busy staring at our phones...