The indomitable rise of portable computing has led to a uniquely 21st century phenomena: people blithely walking into potential mayhem while ogling their gadgets. Most of us are guilty of doing this — especially on smartphones — but on which gadget do you personally draw the line?
Tablet picture from Shutterstock
This morning, I narrowly avoided spectacular injury while descending a staircase at Circular Quay station. Someone had left a suitcase on the second-top stair which I promptly tripped over (luckily, I have a cat-like ability to stay upright during a fall which saved me from a trip to the hospital).
The reason I didn't see the suitcase is kind of embarrassing: I was simultaneously typing a story out on my laptop. Clearly, I've taken the whole 'mobile productivity' thing too far.
The trick to doing this is to type one-handed while balancing the laptop on your palm. It's surprisingly intuitive, but the drawback is that you can't see where you're going. Plus, I suspect that many passers-by have an overwhelming urge to punch me in the face. C'est la vie.
Anyway, my close brush with death made me wonder whether anyone else is guilty of typing-while-walking. Have you ever attempted to use your laptop on the hoof? How about ebooks or tablets? Do you consciously come to a halt when sending a text message or do you continue to walk in a vaguely straight line?
We'd also like to hear from anti-gadget roamers. What is it about this habit that annoys you so much? After all, it's only our own lives that we're putting in danger. Is it really too much to ask that you step aside if we don't see you? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.