You would think I, as a purveyor of fine web-based legal practice management and time tracking software, would say nothing but good things when it comes to people using technology and “plugging in” to the cloud.
But enough is enough. Too much of anything is bad, and the way we’re all glued to our electronic mobile devices has got to change.
Let’s put aside, for a second, psychological issues triggered by disruptions to family life and alterations to our neural pathways which researchers are now exploring. Let’s also put aside other important issues, such as personal privacy, Internet addiction, cyberbullying, and sexting. All of these have real quality of life issues for people, but we’ll explore them later.
Let’s start with physical danger. And I apologize in advance for being a downer. Or on a soap box. But c’mon, man!
People are doing all sorts of very stupid things with electronic devices. A bus driver in Seattle was recently fired for reading a Kindle while driving. A teenage girl in New York walked into an open manhole while texting. And tragically, people are dying because of this stupid behavior. And for what? A text message? I mean, we’re talking sentence fragments and juvenile abbreviations for words.
Remember the Metrolink accident of 2008? 26 people died because the engineer was texting. Do a search for ‘texting accidents’ and you’ll be shocked by what you find.
We all know that using hand held devices while driving is a bad idea. But did you know that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves“?
It’s my goal in “Turn Me Off” on the Legal Productivity blog to talk about being responsibly connected. And all the issues I set aside are ones I feel are of urgent importance which we will explore. But first things first. It’s not responsible to have this conversation without first talking about the safety of ourselves and our loved ones.
Please, let’s keep ourselves and others out of physical harm as best we can. While walking, driving, or unless you’re otherwise sitting still, please put down your freaking phone.