Mobile Thievery

It is the mark of the mobile-enhanced urban commuter:  Holding one’s smart-phone to check email, listen to music, play games, tweet or whatever else our electronic impulses desire.

We are especially vulnerable in this realm of mobility; this zone of ‘zoning out.’

Our use of gadgets takes its toll on our concentration; our focus wanes which is why, for example, the e-cocktail of driving while texting can be and is so deadly.

But there are moments of seeming ‘safety’ — Like in the case of being a passenger, in a car, bus, plane or train. 

What is the harm, one may ask, in a bit of mobile-based immersion when the navigation systems are not yours to manage; when the wheel is not yours to turn?  The risk of harm, it so happens is directly proportional to the perceived value of your mobile device.

I learned that lesson yesterday, while riding the train from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

The young woman: Absorbed in her iPhone.

The young man [standing by the train doors]: Attentive to the young woman’s iPhone.  So attentive, he tried to grab it from her just before the doors closed @ a station stop.

The phone flew in my direction; hitting the floor @ my feet.  Meanwhile, he ran like lightning.

Enter Emily Dickinson:

Within my reach!
I could have touched!
I might have chanced that way
. . . Too late for striving fingers
That passed, an hour ago!