The Philippines is known as the texting capital and the social media capital of the world. We even take our selfie game seriously as Makati is the selfie capital of the world. Indeed, it is a common sight to see a Filipino texting or using his smartphone while walking.
It can be dangerous, though. A study by Texas A&M University revealed that texting while walking make people more cautious when they walk, but Dr. Dietrich Jehle, a professor of emergency medicine at the University at Buffalo in New York, says that accidents due to texting while walking are more frequent (although less hazardous) compared to texting and driving.
The same thing happens to our neighbors in Japan, and to address this, the Hanshin Electric Railways posted an ad publicly shaming those texting while walking in train stations. This is especially dangerous as there are plenty of people, escalators, and the possibility of falling off the platform.
The ad’s producers use a speaker system and a video screen to call out those texting. There are no subtitles to the video, but it is clear what’s happening. Some warnings include: “You there, in the pink cardigan. Walking while texting is dangerous!” and “There is currently a mother pushing a stroller while playing with her smartphone on the platform.” This ad is especially meaningful as the Japanese take the “shame culture” seriously.
However, it is revealed at the end that the producers hired people to act as extras. This is because of Japan’s privacy laws against filming people in public. Despite that, they (and we) hope that this will help stop texting while walking and prevent more accidents.
Did you read this while walking? What did you think of the video?