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August 28, METRO Toronto newspaper

Whose idea was it to give smartphones to stupid people?

By Paul SullivanMetro Canada

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It happened overnight.

One day, people went about their business, sharp and alert, and then, the very next day, the streets and roads were filled with slack-jawed zombies peering into little screens, tapping compulsively on little keypads, oblivious to anyone and anything around them.

Smartphones have almost instantly turned us all, well, many of us anyway, into stupid people.

•Distracted driving: OK to briefly hold cellphone, judge rules

People who drive into each other at high speeds because they’re too busy tapping LOL into their smartphones.

People who try to order lunch in a busy lineup at the same time agreeing with their girlfriend (who is somewhere else) that all men are, like, total potting soil.

People who block street corners and doorways and elevators, breathing through their mouths, inert.

People who drop their smartphones into the urinal while updating their fantasy football roster.

People who go out for dinner and text each other across the table.

I could go on. In fact, I will. There’s even a Facebook page called Smart Phones, Stupid People. And they’re not kidding.

There’s a story about a stupid man who was so busy downloading an app on his smartphone while he was driving that it wasn’t until he got home, parked his van in the driveway and police came to his door that he learned he had run over a 300-pound man.

There’s a photo of a truck with a message on the back: “Don’t text and drive: Yours may be on the next shipment: Batesville Casket Company.”

There’s a story about how people with smartphones have become such a danger to themselves and others in Fort Lee, N.J., that the local police chief has officers ticketing people on the spot. He had to do something:

There have already been 23 text-related pedestrian accidents since January.

And, finally, there’s the story of the Stupidest Person Ever.

A college student (named Chance, LOL) from Texas was driving when he texted to his friend: “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.” He then immediately drove off a bridge and over a cliff. He suffered a broken neck, a crushed face, a fractured skull, and brain trauma. How could that be? He has no brain.

Believe it or not, distracted smartphone-related driving led to 3,000 road fatalities in the U.S. last year. If this keeps up, an entire generation will go over the cliff along with Chance.

At that point, the meek and a few others who can’t afford a smartphone shall inherit the Earth.

At last, IMHO.
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