As I make my way around the city, visiting new and potential clients, I see it more and more… Phone Zombies. You’ve seen them, too; in fact maybe YOU are one of them: those wandering, listless and directionless living dead immersed in their phone, shuffling down a street, or across a courtyard, or through a foyer… Maybe bouncing off a wall or lamppost, or mindlessly clogging a supermarket aisle.
And yes, while it is infuriating to get caught behind one, (and, at least the YouTube videos of their foibles are hilarious) the reality is that such aimless meanderings are largely harmless.
But, there is a danger…
In a recent article on c|net, one of THE Internet hubs for all things tech, a former smartphone thief shares his story… And one of the most significant characteristics of victims was obliviousness. As the author of the story rides along with police in San Francisco, an officer points out a potential victim. “She’s not actually a victim but could easily become one as she walks past us. Eyes fixed on her screen, she’s numb to the buzz of the street around her. Ryan stops the squad car, a black and white Chevy SUV, and from his open window advises her to pay more attention to where she’s going.”
That oblivious, aimless wandering might cause you to conk your head on a street sign, but it also might lead to your being the victim of phone theft. In the aforementioned article, the former smartphone thief notes that his preferred technique was “quickly yanking the phone from a victim’s grasp.”
Newer phones, with remote locking and tracking capabilities, seem to be stemming the tide of smartphone theft, but it is still a significant problem because it is so fast and easy to turn a stolen phone into hard cash.
So, be careful and aware out there. It’s not just a matter of avoiding falling into fountains.
At least there aren’t any Phone Zombies driving cars… Wait… Dang it…