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Walking and Texting

We are all used to walking and talking.  This is generally easy to do, unless you find yourself in an intense  when arms can be strewn about and tempers can fog up your glasses.  In these circumstances, I suggest pulling over on the sidewalk and finding a yogurt or coffee shop where you can chill down.

Now  I can’t say that I can always drive and talk at the same time.  If I am at the wheel and trying to carry on a conversation, I will often find myself retracing a route that is nowhere close to where I’m going.  It’s not that I am dense (or at least that dense); rather I fall into old habits very easily.  They’re comfortable to say the least.

When it comes to texting and walking, I have already proven myself to be at a complete loss.  There are some apps that allow you to view the path in front of you as you text.  But with a little practice, you can master the art of walking and texting.  It’s not that difficult.

Problem

You’re texting a friend, or maybe trying to line up a date for the night, while you’re walking down the street. You don’t want to kill yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to wait.

Solution

The trick is to hold the phone just below your line of vision, and alternate viewing the screen and road.  In addition, it will give you give practice in using your peripheral vision to keep an eye on things.  (See Section 4.2 for more on hold to sharpen your peripheral vision.)

Recipe

The steps take a bit of getting used to, but with practice you can cross the street and actually not get smeared between the lines.

  1. Take your phone out and open it to the keyboard.  Grasp the device with both hands and place it in front of you.
  2. Raise the device just below eye level.  Check the height by first glancing at the screen, then by lifting your line of sight, look in front of you.  You should be able to see everything in front of you.
  3. Practice alternating your focus from the screen to the road and back.
  4. Now type in a test phrase.  After each word (or for beginners, every few characters), lift your eyes up to the road.  When you start typing again, lower your eyes to the keyboard or screen.  Quickly glance up.
  5. Now start walking.  Get your rythmn.
  6. Now, with the device lowered, both thumbs on the keyboard begin alternating your focus before you start typing.  Do not lower the device, but maintain it in its exact position (just below your line of site to the sidewalk).
  7. Enter a few keys or a word.  Glance up then down.
  8. When a response comes in, read a few words, then glance to the road.
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