When Max Brooks envisioned the zombie apocalypse, this probably isn’t what he had in mind, but no matter where you go, you can see them–smartphone zombies. Shuffling along across the sidewalk or intersection, the smartphone zombies are barely aware of the world around them and completely engrossed in their digital life. Surfing from one page to the next, scrolling through Facebook posts and twitter feeds, their faces are blank and lit by the small smartphone screens as they amble their way to and from…wherever.
Recently, the Chinese city of Chongquing has decided to embrace this most noble tradition of walking without looking where you’re going by creating a safe “mobile phone sidewalk” just for the zombies. On this 165 foot long street, zombies can shuffle along, completely oblivious of the world outside of Facebook without worry of walking into streetlamps, cars, fences, pedestrians or anything else.
The idea for the smartphone lane is experimental and based on an experiment conducted in Washington D.C. by National Geographic Television earlier this year. Ironically, the original experiment was meant to raise awareness of the complete lack of attention on the part of smartphone pedestrians. Obviously, China missed that part. However, according to a Washington Post blog, the lane has been a little ineffective for a rather hilarious reason.
“Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the markings on the pavement. They don’t notice them,” Nong Cheng, a marketing official for the group in charge of Chongqing’s entertainment zone, told the Associated Press.
So much irony.
But despite the attempts by China and other countries, it seems that smartphone zombies (or ‘distracted pedestrians’ as the laymen call them) are here to stay. For now.
During a study conducted by Confused.com, 2,000 adults in the U.K were interviewed and they discovered that nearly 1/3 of pedestrians admitted they were too distracted by their phones to look for traffic, and about a quarter of drivers said they have had to swerve out of the way of smartphone zombies.
So, even though these smartphone zombies have more of a desire to ‘like’ a picture on Facebook than eat brains, phone zombification can still be pretty dangerous to both smartphone zombies and non-zombies alike. So put down your phone, look around and live a little!]]>