We’ve all done it: staring at our phones as we type hilarious texts while walking. Inevitability you end up kissing a street sign and learn your lesson as you swear never to walk and text again and sheepishly put away your phone.
But like a crackhead to crack, you’re back at it five minutes later and this time you almost fall into an open sewer. So what’s a modern-day text-addicted human like you going to do about it?
Don’t Break the Habit. Create a New One!
This is what we call Habit Reversal. So instead of trying to break a habit, you create a new one, so in the end, the new habit (good habit) cancels out the old one (bad habit). Creating a new habit is tough at first because the current habit is pretty tough to break. But habits, similar to addictions, are pretty much all the same. Smoking, slouching, eating a jar of cheesy salsa before bed are all things you know you should stop doing, but yet you can’t. And there’s no magic bullet so you just have to be mindful. I know. It sucks.
So here’s how you create a new habit:
Lay Down Some Ground Rules
I’ve been playing with this idea for awhile because man, am I ever guilty of text-walking (or whatever the Urban Dictionary term for it is). Let’s lay down a few rules to get us on the path to free walking, i.e., not being a slave to your phone and developing “mobile-neck” or some crazy 21st century condition.
1. Put Your Phone Away: Keep your phone in your pocket or bag, not in your hands. That’s right. Turn on the volume and put it away. Resist the urge to check the weather, texts that haven’t arrived yet, or Reddit’s Front Page.
2. Need to Text? Stop walking: If you hear a notification come in, you may check it. Move off to the side of the sidewalk/path/hallway. Hey, lean on a post and text away if you want! Just don’t do it while walking. That’s the only rule.
3. Talking is Allowed: Need to talk on your phone? No problem. Talking and walking is OK! Walking and texting is not.
And that’s it. Can you not text and walk for a day? How about a week?