Texting teen falls into street, lands in headlines

For two days we've been treated to report after report about 15-year-old Alexa Longueira, who last week fell into an open manhole while walking around texting

For two days we've been treated to report after report about 15-year-old Alexa Longueira, who last week fell into an open manhole while walking around texting instead of paying attention to her surroundings. Yes, texting can be dangerous.

I am not sure if it's the "there but for the grace of God go I" aspect of the Staten Island teen's story that is keeping this alive, but I keep just wanting to shake my computer screen and shout.

"Pay attention!"

Sure, accidents happen and even people who don't text can fall into a hole in the street. Especially in New York City, which probably leads the world in open manholes at any given moment.

The other moral? "Gravity happens."

Most people who wind up below pavement are probably just walking around effectively unconscious, lost in thought, when gravity ruins their day. Distracted walking can be a killer, regardless of the cause.

Or maybe we were interested because we've all seen teens so busily typing away that we knew someday the real world would intervene in their incessant typing to their friends. Fortunately, Alexa was not seriously hurt--her fall was reportedly softened by the raw sewage in which she landed.

Yes, her parents are reportedly considering a lawsuit. The city workers who left the manhole uncovered reportedly told Alexa they were "sorry" as they fished her out of the six-foot abyss into which the stumbled.

She may have gotten off lucky: I wonder if someone hasn't already met an untimely end by stepping off the curb while texting?

Like I said, "Pay attention!"

I hope we can now get past Alexa's tale of woe--I am glad she wasn't hurt badly and hope she and the rest of us will understand the moral of this story. Yes, it's pretty simple:

"Pay attention!"

If you are interested in some other ways that wireless devices can impact our health (pun noticed and left in), here's an in-depth report (ditto) from ABC News on the gravity (yes, again) of the situation.

David Coursey promises not write another post like this one for a long time. He tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

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David Coursey

PC World (US online)
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