Dean Kirby, Northern Correspondent for the iPaper, contacted the MMU press department yesterday, looking for someone to comment on the fact that he’s observed so many people walking into things because they are paying too much attention to their phones.
I’m very happy to have my words quoted in full, and as the final word on the article:
Dr Bex Lewis, a senior lecturer in digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, says the issue should not be taken at face value and further questions need to be asked. ”It’s very easy to fall into the narrative that everyone is now engrossed in their phones, and that they are not paying attention to the rest of the world,“
Dr Lewis says. ”There are definitely some people who fall into this category, but we have a slightly rose-tinted view that before phones we were all chatting to each other, and paying attention to the world.
“One question we really need to ask is more about what people are doing on their phones, rather than how much or the fact that they are on them.
”I am quite likely to be using my phone whilst out because I’m using it as a map, or I’m out exploring and using the ‘Around Me’ app, or I’m getting some exercise by catching Pokemon. There’s no excuse for people not to be paying attention to people around them, and to traffic.
“It’s more likely that there are other reasons people won’t intervene when someone has their phone snatched,” she adds, “including fears of getting involved and becoming a target, and an expectation – particularly in a big city – that someone else will sort it out.”
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Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.