HomeUncategorizedAlarming Increase in Phone Injuries

Alarming Increase in Phone Injuries

I SPEND SO MUCH TIME in front of my computer that Amazon.com has replaced its “You May Also Like” recommendations list with a pop-up note saying: “You should really turn this off and go for a walk.” OK, I kid, but in reality, it’s hard to get us 21st Century People off our screens. These days my friends often try to inspire movement by using the trendy word “Yolo” – which stands for You Only Live Once. This doesn’t work so well in Asia. The last time someone said that, I pointed out that most people in the room believed in reincarnation. He said: “Good point. We can log off and go exercise in our next lives.” The odd thing is that sitting down and looking at a screen can be strangely exhausting. I saw a news report recently about a flight in Wuhan, central China, that couldn’t land because two air traffic controllers had fallen asleep in front of their monitors. The civil aviation authorities said in a statement that the plane had tried to make contact many times but there was no reply. The air traffic controllers have since promised to try their best not to fall asleep. If they fail, there’s still a plus as I’m sure they can catch up on their sleep in prison. Sleeping while on duty is not a problem in Switzerland. Earlier this year, the Swiss Air Force revealed that it does not wake up sleeping pilots at night or made them work over weekends. During unsocial hours, the Air Force provides only radar coverage of the country. Jet fighters are not available after sundown. Switzerland has a longstanding “we’re not playing” policy on wars, even big ones like World War II, so they clearly haven’t internalised the fact that military action is not a nine-to-five thing. It’s going to be interesting when World War III happens and the Swiss army is keeping time on their country’s famously accurate watches. “It’s five o’clock, friends, time to go home. See you all tomorrow to resume the war at 9am sharp. Guet nacht.” If another Great War were to hit us, my only hope is that the whole thing can be fought on Minecraft or Sim City. Then all those hours spent on video games can finally be put to a useful purpose. The good news is that society is adjusting to the existence of screen addicts. In Chongqing, China, the municipality has painted markings on the pavement to create a slow pedestrian lane for people who walk while looking at their phones. Given the real danger of walking into a lamp post or even a sinkhole while fixated on your phone, a special lane for screen watchers sounds like a sensible idea. Especially if you believe in Yolo.


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