Common Sense Ain’t So Common

Hold on to your hats folks, I have something important to tell you. And it’s vital I pass this information on as I have concerns about your safety.

Did you know that if you absorb yourself in texting while you walk – in that if you have your head down and focus solely on the phone at your fingertips – there is a chance you might injure yourself?

That’s right folks, if you don’t look where you’re going you could bump into someone, trip, or faceplant into a post.

Now, before you start calling me a genius, I have to fess up and admit I can’t take credit for this brilliant insight. Instead, it comes from scientist Joanna Lumdsen at Birmingham’s Aston University.

Lumdsen created a laboratory experiment where  volunteers followed a colour-coded path while trying to text and while video screens flashed up messages telling them to avoid stepping on particular colours. The result was that volunteers missed one in five potential hazards because they were so preoccupied with their phones.

Lumdsen’s conclusion?

“The safest thing is for people not to text as they walk along.”

Who’d have thought it!

But hang on, it’s just dawned on me! That’s what mum must have meant when she’d shout “Watch where you’re going!” And that must be why the police get cross with us for driving and texting – apparently if we don’t watch the road we could have an accident.

Well I’ll be damned!

There are millions of taxpayer dollars around the world being poured into studies so boffins can advise us on the essentials of survival.

What about the discovery from researchers at Durham University in Britain that attractive people are more likely to get lucky than ugly people?

Nah …you’re kidding. Really? Next they’ll be telling me that people put on more clothes when it’s cold. Ooops, they already have! That amazing gem came out of a study in the academic journal aifCurrent Anthropologyaif. Once again, I must have been spawn from a genius, because my mum, although never a scientist, figured out the same thing. She was always telling me to put on a jacket before I went out the door in winter and I’m sure she never read Current Anthropology.

And what about the universities of Washington and California who were awarded grants to study why it’s easier to identify someone close than far away. I always knew it was hard to see anyone at all after a bottle of bubbles, but even I concluded it was easier to identify a friend standing in front of you rather than waving at you from across the river.

My favourite flash of brilliance though has to be the stunning revelation from Professor Richard Ryan who has proved in a three-week study at Rochester University that people are happier on the weekends.

More amazingly, the professor discovered the euphoria of this `Weekend Effect’ begins on a Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday afternoon.

His study revealed that the “unfettered time on weekends provides critical opportunities for bonding with others, exploring interests and relaxing.”

Now I’m going to take a wild punt here but I think that’s boffin talk for “Yippee, it’s the weekend, we don’t have to work!”

In fact, I remember feeling that `Weekend Effect’ from kindergarten where I was practising not running into things by watching where I was going.

I must be a genius. It obviously runs in the genes. Thanks mum.

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3 Responses to Common Sense Ain’t So Common

  1. That’s classic Wendy! I am enjoying your blog 🙂

  2. thedoe says:

    Yep – LOVE it !!!

  3. oldrowley says:

    Wendy – I am thinking of buying you the Email N’ Walk app for your phone. The app turns on your iPhone’s camera to give you a live view of what’s in front of you. A superimposed text box also appears letting you type while keeping an eye out on the sidewalk. How good is that? NOT!

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