Lifestyle

Look out and look up

"DON'T invade my personal space".

This message is being delivered clearly and emphatically by commuters on city trains and buses and by walkers and joggers everywhere.

I saw many examples in Sydney last week.

Large headphones and small earpieces say it; a bag placed on the empty seat beside the person on the train does it; avoiding eye contact declares it: "Keep your distance. I don't want to talk to you. I have no time for you. And I don't want you near me."

The avoidance of face-to-face contact and impersonal and inappropriate electronic messaging underscore messages of social rejection.

Media reports have included the young man talking on a mobile phone, meandering along the edge of a lonely train platform at night, stumbling, losing his balance and landing head-first on the tracks.

The incident, captured by a security camera, underscores the risks of a growing problem that safety experts are calling 'distracted walking'.

Reports of injuries to distracted walkers treated at hospital emergency departments have more than quadrupled in the past seven years.

Pedestrians listening to iPods while crossing busy city streets are being knocked down and killed or seriously injured in increasing numbers.

A 24-year-old woman walked into a power pole while sending a text message; a 28-year-old man was walking along a road when he fell into a drain while talking on his mobile phone; a 12-year-old boy was looking at a video game when he was clipped by a car as he crossed a street; a woman sending a text message while walking through a shopping centre tumbled into a large fountain in her path; and so on.

Authorities are struggling to figure out how to respond, and in some cases asking how far governments should go in trying to protect people from themselves.

In the US State of Delaware, road safety officials have opted for a public education campaign, painting signs on footpaths and at busy intersections urging pedestrians to "Look up!"

Life itself can be pretty distracting at times. It begs the question whether many of us may be walking through life too distracted and disconnected by the issues in our own little world to spot the spiritual hazards around us.

I believe we all need to spend significant time 'looking up' - in order to focus on God and the prescription he has written in the bible to ensure we can safely navigate the many dangers of life.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  lifestyle, opinion, society, spirituality



A long ride to Copmanhurst campdraft

HERDING: Ben Thompson competing at the Copmanhurst Campdraft.

Copmanhurst was full of people, horses and cattle for the campdraft.

TALKING TIMBER: Transparent wood could replace glass

New technology could have profound effect on building design.

Couples wedded to Palmers Island caravan

Caravan owner Eric Lyons stands in front of the replacement van he sells hay bales from at Palmers Island, after his original van was destroyed by a storm.

Blown down in a storm, the iconic caravan on Palmers Island is back

Local Partners

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.