Sonoma State University at 7:50 a.m. is a war zone. How people don’t die at this time is mind-blowing to me.
I know we are all supposed to be adults here but how Sonoma State students cross the damn street is for lack of better words, elementary. Scratch that, elementary is too nice of a word, I have seen children cross the street with more alertness than even professors here.
How Sonoma State students and faculty make their way across campus in the morning is infantile. It’s like making a baby cross the street. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an angry driver or an “everyone get out of my way” kind either. I’m just a “not trying to commit manslaughter before my History class” kind of driver.
The other day, near the tennis courts, three students decided to cross the street, not on the crosswalk, without even turning around to check if it was safe to walk into the 7:50 a.m. madness. When I suddenly hit my brakes, they just stared at me as if it were my fault that I didn’t guess their death wish and then, realizing they were in the middle of the road stopping traffic, gave me an embarrassed wave. This all happened because they were staring into their phones.
Everyone talks about the dangers of texting and driving but no one talks about the dangers of texting and walking. An Ohio State University study reported that accidents involving phones and pedestrians have tripled since 2005. I have seen people crash into poles, fall off bikes, and walk straight into other people because they were distracted on their phones.
The worst part is that it isn’t even just our generation who grew up with these devices, it’s professors too who text and cross the street ever so slowly. I caught my professor from last semester on her phone trying to step on the road first to make traffic stop without even looking up to see if we were stopping.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-technology. I love my phone. I can find a song I heard in a commercial instantly or tweet an emoji to get pizza delivered. If I’m running late to meet someone, I can text them. How people found each other in public places before sounds just exhausting. We have it easy, but it doesn’t mean we have to constantly be on our phones. It’s an epidemic.
Coming out of the library one day I stopped and stared into the quad. I swear, 25 out of the 27 people outside were on their phone. That’s scary. Before people would be forced to say hello to each other passing by in the quad. It created an opportunity for people to meet one another.
While the phone is a great tool to do so many things, it needs to be put down whether one is walking, at a concert, driving, in class, or just living. Putting it down could let you live to tweet another day.