Stop texting while walking

By Amy Rickabaugh | Contributor

Lately, I have been very aware of my surroundings as I walk around Baylor’s campus. Who’s walking in front of me, behind me, beside me, and what are their motives?

Part of this hyperawareness is a product of me being bored on my walk or bike ride to class, the other part is motivated by my fear of being hurt.

Something in my mind tells me that if I take notice of everyone around me, I can avoid being hurt, or an emergency I may not have noticed had I been on my phone.

I have noticed this semester how many people walk and text. Students walk out of class and immediately get on their phones to check what they missed because their old-fashioned professor has a “tech free” class.

This is dangerous. Imagine a student, walking with their face down in their phone. They step off a curb that they didn’t see, fall flat on their face and break their nose.

Not only is that unfortunate but it is also embarrassing, and I would not want the reason that I fall on my face in front of people to be my mobile device. I want to go down for something better than that.

Another reason it is dangerous is because Baylor is not a car-free campus. There are roads running through campus and parking lots filled with people in cars waiting to run students over because they weren’t looking to see where they were walking.

My personal relation and frustration to this issue is the fact that I ride my bike to and from class. The main reason people ride bikes is to get to class faster.

If someone is not paying attention and walks in the line of a bike rider, the bike rider will not move, and that person will get hurt. I have often had to ride slower than the walkers or swerve out of the way quickly because someone is on their phone.

Get off the phone, get to the right and walk faster. If bike riders have to respect the walkers and try not to run them over, the walkers need to give us that respect back, and they need to give us an excuse not to run them down in front of everyone on Fountain Mall.

Some students would argue that they get on their phones to study on quizlet or look at reviews as they walk to class. While this may be efficient, they will be sorry when they get hit by a bike on the way to class and aren’t able to take the test that they were studying for in the first place.

Students should get off their phones so they can see what’s going on. God forbid there is a campus emergency, such as an active shooter, and a student does not see them or hear them because their face is buried in Instagram or Snapchat and their music is blasting.

Practicing being aware of your surroundings is so important because it can be useful anywhere. On campus, in downtown Waco at night or even in your hometown.

If nothing else comes from this but to get off your phone for the sake of your own life, then the goal was met.

Amy is a sophomore communications major from San Antonio.