The Dangers of Being a Digital Native


I take the subway everyday to and from work. Every morning when I’m walking towards the subway somewhere along the way there is a man, or several, giving out free newspapers or selling them. I always stayed away from them, since I honestly dislike getting the black ink all over my fingers, and you can always get your news. Yet, for whatever reason last Tuesday was different. I decided to take an am New York paper from the man outside the subway station. Aside from the nasty ink getting all over my fingers, I thought it wouldn’t really hurt to take one and enrich myself with whatever knowledge it offered.

I must say, I never really got around to reading it on the subway since it was crowded and I couldn’t find a seat. So I didn’t pay much attention to it for some time. The paper kind of hung around my desk at work until Thursday when I finally picked it up and read it.

The first thing that caught my attention, not surprisingly, was the cover story. “UNSAFE TEXT” it read in red. The story went on to describe how “text-walking injuries are a growing trend.” It must have had been a slow news day, was my first thought. And the newspaper continued to sit at my desk.

Then on Friday, something interesting happened, my sister sent me a brand new blackberry by mail. I spent the entire weekend exploring every aspect of it and trying to figure out all I could. And at some point on Saturday, as I was sending a friend a text message as I was walking down the street and BAM! I walked into a pole! My first reaction was to be angry at the pole for being in my way… but then I remembered the news story. I was not alone with my injury, or cause of that injury for that matter.

I wasn’t looking while I was walking. I was lucky I had not ran into a moving vehicle. But my blackberry was so perfectly and beautifully addictive, and it was so easy to get lost in it. And then I remembered the paper. It warned me, it told me what happened to texting/blackberry addicts, but I had paid no attention.

And this is how I have come to the conclusion that being addicted to one’s phone, as beautiful as it may be to embrace the technology, is not healthy. In fact, it is just as the am newspaper story said: UNSAFE. My second conclusion is that I should read more newspapers too, since the information they provide may save your life, if your smart enough to pay attention to it.

-Maria Garcia


2 Responses to “The Dangers of Being a Digital Native”

  1. Dude, so true. I’m in the habit of text-tweeting when I’m walking & the other day, I walked directly into a concrete divider. Then of course I had to smoothly keep walking like nothing happened. Good times. :)

  2. I’m the worst at this. If you catch me on the street, you’ll see me juggling iPod, iPhone, sometimes a Flip or camera if I’m in a cool place I want to capture, sometimes with a NY Times as well… I text, browse and catch up on my news and sometimes, in the process, forget that I’m living in a city with crazy traffic and lots of things to bump into if I’m not aware of my surroundings:)

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