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« Neighbors | Main | Keeping at it »

Jun 21, 2012

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Ian McDowell

These days almost everything on The Discovery Channel that's not MYTHBUSTERS is crap (and don't get me started on the History Channel and Nat Geo), but there was a quite interesting new show on last Sunday night called HEAD GAMES that demonstrated how people talking on cellphones while they walk can't see what's literally in front of them , whether it's a pretty girl or a clown on a bicycle.

Here's the actual experiment:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/what-clown-on-a-unicycle-studying-cell-phone-distraction/

The same program made a convincing argument as to why people talking on their cellphones in public is more distracting, and hence annoying, than two people having a face-to-face conversation. It's because we can't not listen; the brain, hearing only one side of the conversation, gives it more attention whether you want it to or not, in an attempt to puzzle out a context.

People who talk about their prison records, their sexual assignations or confidential conditions at their workplace on a cellphone while in public need to realize that people around them are going to be paying attention whether they want to or not, to a degree that would not be true if they were having the very same conversation with someone face-to-face.

Billy Jones

The worst are those with those little things in their ears.

Billy Jones

Update: Finally, at the ripe old age of 55 I got a cell phone. I hate the damned thing and forget it at every opportunity.

Gerry Alfano

I have not been able to figure out why people speak so loudly on cell phones. I was walking my dog in the neighborhood early one morning and could hear the entire conversation a walker was having on her cell phone. She was on the other side of the small neighborhood park. Needless to say, I was pretty unhappy about it ruining my peaceful walk. My favorite "sighting" of walkers with cell phones was a couple walking "together", both of them talking on cell phones. What's the point of walking with someone if you are going to talk on a cell phone?

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