Eyes down (October 2018 article)

hands using mobile phones

Reverend Lydia Smith writes ….

Listening to the news this morning, I heard about a suggestion that road signs be placed at pavement level, so that phone-using pedestrians wouldn’t miss the edge of the pavement.  Shaun Helman, of the UK based Transport Research Laboratory has suggested there could be text walking lanes and pavement level lights to guide people at pedestrian crossings.

Although it was a fun item on a relatively quiet news day, the message struck a chord.  Not so much on the merit of the ideas, but because it reminded me that we are still accommodating ourselves to this change in how we live.  Hence the debate in schools as to whether smartphones should be allowed.

This revolutionary bit of technology is a fact of life now.  Smartphones bring many benefits: you can keep in touch, celebrate the good moments, listen to music and play games all on one tiny device.  And – for those with a commuter in their household – phones can remove the great uncertainty about where the train carrying your loved one has got to: the Find Friends app has made life much simpler at the Vicarage.

But still, as we learn how best to deal with these constant companions, some of us may need a reminder to look up from our phones every now and then.  And not just to make sure we attend suitably to road traffic.

As summer turns to autumn, why not make some time to look away from the screen and appreciate the people near you and the world around.  Harvest festivals in our churches are great chance to notice and give thanks for the beautiful place we live in.

Best wishes




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