Fashion, Texting and Walking

August 23rd, 2011 by The Responsibility Project

Can clothes that remind people not to walk and text really be effective?

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The Responsibility Project

Does America need a texting intervention? One clothing designer thinks so. Cat Greenleaf, host of NBC’s Talk Stoop, recently started a clothing line called LUST, which stands for Look Up Stop Texting and features messages reminding people to observe their surroundings. It may seem like an odd fashion statement, but it’s at least a timely one.

A few weeks ago, a notorious YouTube video surfaced showing a woman at a Pennsylvania shopping mall falling into a water fountain while distractedly walking and texting. Another tale of WWT (walking while texting) a few years prior involved a Staten Island teen falling into an open manhole cover while texting.

The reality is, WWT incidents are on the rise. Two weeks before the manhole mishap, an Indiana teen crossing a road while texting was struck and killed by a car. In England, a 17-year-old walking while texting stepped straight into the path of a waiting thief who stole his phone. “The deep, black hole of responsibility,” is how one newspaper editorial summed up the tumbling manhole texting incident while posing the obvious next question: “Do we need ‘protect society from itself’ laws?” 

Tell us what you think: Would you wear clothing that reminds people to be more aware of their surroundings? Is there a WWT epidemic going on and should walking while texting be restricted by law?

(A portion of this story was previously published as “Should Walking While Texting Be Illegal?” on The Responsibility Project on 10/20/09)