‘Pod people’ need to take responsibility

By Observer editorial April 09, 2010 02:18 pm
IPods are an amazing technological breakthrough. They sure beat the bad old days when people would walk around with a boom box on their shoulders sharing their music with the entire neighborhood. Or when people wore Walkmans on their hips and jogged with their shorts beginning to fall down.

Pod People, as people in general, are proud multitaskers. People can talk on the phone, drive, eat pizza, put on makeup and call a lawyer to start a lawsuit against Apple, maker of the iPod, all at the same time. Multitasking with iPods, however, can lead to traffic accidents for drivers — and for daydreaming pedestrians. A study from Drexel University shows it can be as dangerous to drive while iPoding — adapters allow the iPod to be plugged into the car stereo — as it is to drive while dialing a cell phone.

It can also be dangerous just to walk or jog around with an iPod. Recent fatal accidents involving iPods and MAX trains (Beaverton) and planes making emergency landings (the jogger on the beach in Hilton Head Island, S.C.) point out these
dangers.

This is not meant to be an indictment of the iPod. It’s OK to walk with headphones on, as long as the person pays attention to his or her surroundings. However, it is not recommended to bicycle, or drive, while iPoding.

IPods, though, are not responsible for accidents. It’s the people using the iPods who are to blame.

In other words, people shouldn’t depend on guardian angels, the safe drivers of the world, the train engineers, to keep them free of harm. Pod People are responsible for their own safety.

We’re not encouraging Pod People to give up their iPods. We’re just encouraging Pod People to be aware of the dangers and to be careful out there. The life they save could be their own.