The human mind cannot multitask. It can’t.
“Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth. The brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time [emphasis added]. To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.”~ Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina
So there’s that.
And then there’s this… when you are on your phone, it’s impossible for you to be fully aware of what’s going on around you. Trying to pay attention to your phone and your surroundings (multitasking) is an effort in futility.
When you are on your phone while in public you are actually improving your chances of being targeted by a thug, predator or thief. They tend to choose people who are distracted and unaware of their environment.
These nefarious people are able to easily approach you without you noticing. One of the most common comments from victims is “I never saw him coming.”
To protect yourself from bad people and dangerous situations, you need to be aware of what’s happening around you.
It’s called Threat Awareness. And it’s an important part of self defense.
Threat Awareness is being purposefully aware of what is going on around you:
- Purposefully aware of possible dangerous situations.
- Purposefully aware so people can’t enter your personal space without your permission.
- Purposefully aware so you will have time to avoid those situations (or at least be ready to defend yourself if you don’t have time to get away).
It’s impossible for you to be fully aware of your surroundings when you are on your phone (whether you are walking or just sitting on a bench).
Anytime you are out in public, no matter where, the possibility is real that you could be targeted by a predator.
They look for people who are distracted and unaware. People who have no idea what’s happening beyond their phone screen.
And, if you’re texting, or snapchatting, or instagramming, or whatever you do on your phone, you won’t know what’s happening beyond your phone screen. You are distracted and unaware.
“But I can look up now and then to see what’s going on around me.”
Yes. You could do that. But trust me, it doesn’t work.
I have, unfortunately, proven that myself.
I was sitting in a public area, waiting for my husband. I got board so, instead of following my own advice, I decided to get on my phone.
I had my back to the wall and I told myself that if I looked up every so often, I would be able to be aware of my surroundings.
I looked up once and all was well. I looked up again, and my husband was standing right next to me. I didn’t hear or see him approach.
If he had been a thief, he could have grabbed my phone and taken off. If he had been a predator, something worse could have happened.
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I was surprised, not to mention embarrassed, to be caught so unaware.
Please. Stay off your phone when you’re in public (except for emergencies, of course).
Related Content: Do You Think You’re Safer When You’re Talking on Your Cell Phone?