A smart phone zombie is a person who stares at their phone while they're walking down the street, oblivious to their surroundings and potential hazards. This behavior can lead to accidents, injuries, and even death. According to a study by the World Health Organization, 12-45% of pedestrian fatalities are as a result of distraction[^2^].
So how can you prevent yourself from becoming a smart phone zombie Here are some tips:
Limit your phone use when you're outside. Only check your phone when you're in a safe place, such as a sidewalk cafe or a park bench. If you need to make a call or send a message, stop and find a spot where you won't block the traffic or endanger yourself.
Turn on the do not disturb mode on your phone. This will mute notifications and calls that are not urgent or important. You can also set up exceptions for certain contacts or apps that you don't want to miss.
Use headphones or earbuds with caution. Listening to music or podcasts can be enjoyable, but it can also reduce your awareness of your environment. Keep the volume low enough that you can still hear what's going on around you. Alternatively, use only one earbud or headphone so that you have one ear free to listen.
Try some apps that can help you stay alert. For example, there are apps that can detect when you're walking and automatically lock your screen or dim your brightness. There are also apps that can warn you of nearby obstacles or crossings using sound or vibration.
Be mindful of your surroundings. Pay attention to the signs, signals, and people around you. Look up from your phone every few seconds and scan the area for any potential dangers. Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians to ensure they see you.
By following these tips, you can avoid becoming a smart phone zombie and enjoy your walk safely and responsibly.
Some people have come up with more creative solutions to deal with the problem of smart phone zombies. For example, a South Korean industrial designer named Paeng Min-wook has invented a device called \"The Third Eye\", which is a robotic eyeball that can be attached to the forehead of a phone user[^1^]. The device can sense when the user's head is tilted down to look at the phone, and it can open its eyelid and scan the surroundings for any obstacles. If it detects something within one to two meters, it will beep to alert the user. Paeng said that his invention was a satirical way of highlighting the severity of gadget addiction and making people look back at themselves.
Another example is the installation of ground-level \"zombie traffic lights\" in various cities around the world, such as Sydney, Seoul, Augsburg, Bodegraven, Tel Aviv, and Singapore[^2^]. These are LED strips that are embedded in the pavement at crossings, and they change color according to the conventional traffic signals. They are designed to catch the attention of distracted phone users who might not notice the regular lights above them. They are also called \"smombie lights\", a term that combines \"smartphone\" and \"zombie\", which was voted as the youth word of the year in Germany in 2015.
These solutions may seem amusing or ingenious, but they also raise some questions about the social and psychological implications of smart phone zombies. Are we becoming too dependent on technology to solve our problems Are we losing our ability to interact with others and appreciate our environment Are we sacrificing our safety and well-being for the sake of convenience and entertainment These are some of the questions that we should ask ourselves before we become smart phone zombies ourselves. ec8f644aee