By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2013, Denise N. Fyffe
Jamaicans have taken up many bad habits on the public streets since ‘the latest smartphones‘ have flooded our markets. Blackberry, IPhone, Androids, IPads and tablets are all the latest craze. Over 5 years ago students from several high schools including Mona High school were being injured or killed on the streets because they were flaunting these instruments on the road.
I have witnessed many Jamaican women walking on lonely streets at nights, texting on their smartphone and not being conscious of the dangers around them. Many are also guilty of texting or talking on the cellphone while crossing the street or even driving. These are actions which will get us hurt and even killed.
Examples of How technology, smartphones and electronics puts us in danger:
According to Christine Rosen of The Wall Street Journal, “In late September, on a crowded commuter train in San Francisco, a man shot and killed 20-year-old student Justin Valdez. As security footage shows, before the gunman fired, he waved around his .45 caliber pistol and at one point even pointed it across the aisle. Yet no one on the crowded train noticed because they were so focused on their smartphones and tablets. “These weren’t concealed movements—the gun is very clear,” District Attorney George Gascon later told the Associated Press. “These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They’re just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They’re completely oblivious of their surroundings.”
Indeed, YouTube features hundreds of such videos—outbreaks of violence on sidewalks, in shopping malls and at restaurants. Many of these brawls, such as the one that broke out between two women during a victory parade for the New York Giants in 2012, feature crowds of people gathered around, smartphones and cameras aloft and filming the spectacle.
On the streets, buses, trains, and cabs; everyone gives 100% of their attention to whatever gadget or cellphone they have in their possession. “Why are these passengers not interested in the people around them? Why are they not observing what is happening around them? Why are these people so busy with their phones? Is the phone more important than the people around them? If a terrorist was on board the train, would they notice as they seem so engrossed with their phones? I wondered. Gone were the days, when people were so much interested in knowing what is happening around them. When people deeply cared to know what others are doing, where they are going, or if they are alright? People cared about one another deeply, irrespective of their class, race or culture” (Bemah, 2013). Because of the heavy infiltration of smartphones and technology in our daily lives we are less inclined to engage in public and social settings.