Art by Niko Grimwords

When I first heard that China had introduced designated walking paths for people using their mobile phones, I laughed and thought it was a ridiculous idea. Fast forward almost a year and I find myself begging that London will introduce something similar.

Mobile lane in China

Apart from the consistently unreliable bane of my life that is London Public Transport, mobile phones are the leading cause of crowd congestion in the city. Actually let me rephrase that, idiots on mobile phones are the leading cause of crowd congestion in the city.

One moment you are perfectly happy walking at a normal socially acceptable pace, only to find yourself taking pigeon steps to your destination. Sometimes it takes me longer to get out of a tube station than it does for The Undertaker to walk to the ring at Wrestlemania (If youโ€™re not a wrestling fan you will have to trust me on this one, it’s long). The most common location for the congestion for some reason is near the entrances and exits of all Tube stations. The cause of this is usually some bloody nincompoop walking at a snails pace whilst looking down at their phone either texting or checking directions.

Some people are completely overwhelmed by their texting and come to a complete halt. They stand there oblivious to the world whilst everybody else tries to shuffle around them like a disobedient child that won’t get off of the floor in Tesco’s on a Saturday. Move tot he side or get out of the way you fool.

Everybody in the city has a phone and unfortunately everybody thinks they have mastered the capability of multitasking. The truth is they haven’t. I must admit I am a culprit of this myself. However not all of us are totally incapable of doing both at the same time. I am one of those people who can manage to maintain a consistent reasonable walking speed whilst operating my device, thus reducing any disruption for my fellow commuters. Why some people feel the need to come to a complete stop is beyond me. After all, it is supposed to be a mobile phone, mobile being the key word.

I think it is time we introduced a mobile lane to the streets of London so all of the zombies can be late together. It is clear from their lack of pace that punctuality is not something they care for. I don’t see why the rest of us need to be punished. Anyone caught in a non-mobile lane using their phone should have to take a forfeit chosen by  the angry commuters that are being held up behind them. This would not only serve as a reasonable punishment but it would be hugely entertaining and a satisfying addition to my day.

So the next time you are out and about and you find yourself replying to a text in a busy public space. Take a moment to look up from your shiny precious phone to ensure you are not the one that is causing the traffic and being a complete douchebag. You could be doing it right now!

Sebastian Bowen. 

The Fishtank Podcast.

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Comments
  1. Jen Robbins says:

    The irony! Having just received the link for this blog from my esteemed colleague, I totally just did the reading/walking thing on my way from work to the station! However, I must say that I, like you, am capable of walking and operating said ‘shiny precious phone’ and walking at a non-disruptive pace all at the same time so feel am not worthy of the ‘phone zombie’ title. Just saying…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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