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Japan's smartphone 'zombies' wreak havoc on the streets

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One of the zombies walked right into me yesterday.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

“We use the story of the tortoise and the hare,” he said. “The hare shoots off tapping away on his smartphone, and then falls down a hole. We want the children to know they could be the hare.”

And the tortoise just sits there, because he doesn't have an app to tell him where to go. That said, yes, the slack-jawed, drooling folks who don't really live with the rest of us on the planet - I'm not sure what should be done about them. Throwing eggs at them seems a bit extreme...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

At train stations (as a start), there should be signs and fines for walking and using a smartphone at the same time - worldwide.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If you knock enough of them over maybe they will get the message.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

I'm kind of partial to the zombie in the photo. She can bumped into me anytime she wants.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

No recorded announcements, please. Enough of those already.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

There a time fir sightseen ant their time for smartphone.

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-3 ( +2 / -5 )

They should be fined.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

People who don't look where they're going (regardless of what they are up to) get bumped into by me. It is the resposibility of the citizen to be aware of their surroundings if living in a place like Tokyo, and if you'd rather play one of those idiotic, free games, walking around with your neck bent, than look where you're going, you're gonna have a problem. I can never accept that a selfish person expects other people two give way just because they haven't yet understand what being an adult is all about. Walk like that - risk dropping your gadget on the hard concrete

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Seriously people, stop using your cellphone while on the move. Some idiot texting or playing a game, on a bicycle almost ran over my dog. I almost snapped my dog's neck pulling him out of the way. The jerk just looked up for a second like I had done something wrong and continued on his merry way. Well, the nice guy in me is seriously being challenged and really don't know how many more near misses I can take. So to you Ill mannered pedestrian beware. Don't expect me to jump out of your way anymore.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

“If people continue walking around looking at their phones, I think we could see more accidents happening.”

Now there's a brilliant insight if I've ever seen one. Personally, I favor sillygirl's approach.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's only a matter of time before these gadgets come preloaded with proximity detectors.

or something like Google glasses, which people widely misinterpreted as a spying device when it was really a look and walk at the same time device.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At train stations (as a start), there should be signs and fines for walking and using a smartphone at the same time - worldwide.

While I agree with the sentiment, what about people who actually use it to check their map.

Granted I think people should STOP walking and then check the map standing near a wall where they dont bother anyone. banning it completely is just undoable.

And yes, as sillygirl says, bumping into them is the best solution, otherwise they never learn.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No prisoners in my case, if a person is looking at their cell phones while riding a bike and they get close to me they get knocked down, stupid idiots......... had to put one down just last night during my daily walk.

Bicycle Laws: Riding while carrying an umbrella, listening to an iPod, or talking on the phone are prohibited; violators can face a fine of up to ¥500,000 but the the prohibition on riding while using phones/umbrellas/MP3 players is largely ignored.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

One advantage of being 183cm and 105kg is that I always come off best in these encounters, they tend to bounce right off.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Isn't there an app for that? ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I 'allow' and even sometimes encourage good looking Zombie collisions all in the name of being a courteous city dweller.

There are some smartphone zombies that are really taking chances though and everyday I see a few that nearly become Darwin Award Recipients when going to/from work or out shopping/eating. Sadly this will get worse long before they start cracking down on it to save lives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Give the police authority to confiscate the phone of anyone seen doing this. Watching the immediate withdrawal symptoms from these idiots would give me a sadistic pleasure.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wouldn't surprise me if there's a law prohibiting the use of all mobile devices on all public streets for all people in a few years. But then again, no authority would enforce the law. Did you know that one can get fined up to 30,000 Yen for driving on the wrong side of the street with bicycle?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

NTT Docomo had developed a app that locks the phone automatically when it senses the person is walking through it's sensor motion. It's basically the same as those cal calculators apps that calculate how much you done exercise.

Just get that app pre-installed on all phones and not be able to turn it off. That will solve it for good.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Come on... every expat in Japan knows that the locals are not aware of their surroundings:

Stop to chat after stepping off the escalator and creating an obstacle for everyone behind them? - Check

Walk in a random fashion without looking who is going to intersect their path through a busy train station? - Check

Stop in the doorway of a building and block pedestrian traffic? - Check

The cell phones only make it easier to put the responsibility of avoiding collision on someone else that much easier.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Just as bad are the idiots who have their faces buried in their smartphones as they walk up or down the concrete staircases in train stations.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I love pushing a low slung cart around and having phone zombies trip over it. I get at least 4 a day. It is hilarious! I should start taking videos.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

You cannot stop what people enjoy. At least you don't kill anybody by walking into into each other and maybe getting few scratches at most. Maybe these people should wear helmets. What's really dangerous is the drivers that are distracted by talking or texting on cell phones that gets into accidents and killed or injured many. Sometimes using cellphone behind the wheel is worse than drinking and driving.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

People staring at their phones while walking are a nuisance, but probably more of a danger to themselves than those around them. People staring at their phones while riding a bike, however...

I see so many of them while I'm biking to work every morning, mostly high school students: headphones in, phone in hand, staring down as they blaze through intersections with one hand on the handlebars. It's so obviously, astoundingly dangerous, I struggle to comprehend how anyone could be so, so stupid. It's a miracle that half of them aren't dead or paralyzed by graduation. Police need to step out of their koban, flag these people down, and give them a ticket.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Apparently, they had thought it important to be able to show their social media friends what was happening than to try to save themselves.

How does a line like this make it past an editor? Do you really think people were consciously choosing to die but post on Facebook rather than escape?

Don't you think it's far more likely that nobody recognized the risk and what was happening?

Didn't this writer see the video from the hikers when the eruption happened? They didn't know what was going on or how to react, and they were very quickly overcome by ash. How insensitive to those who died on that mountain.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

As a reformed smaho zombie, I feel deep regret when bumping into my former brethren.

It's rude, but if you catch a glimpse of their screens, you hardly ever see anything requiring immediate attention, like GPS guidance or quick message from the person they're about to meet. 90% of the time, the screen is filled with colorful candy game characters that the walker absolutely HAS to manipulate while walking along the train platform or staircase.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I love pushing a low slung cart around and having phone zombies trip over it. I get at least 4 a day. It is hilarious! I should start taking videos.

Perhaps yet another use for one of them GoPro's? Bet they would work great for that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I actually don't mind the smartphone zombies. I do not have to compete with them as I move around town as they are too preoccupied to care who is cutting in front of them and scooting to the front of the line. It is also a lot easier to check out the cuties without getting caught red-faced.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

90% of the time, the screen is filled with colorful candy game characters...

Yeah, what's up with those ridiculous games? I guess Tokyoites are easily amused or have incredibly boring lives if this is what many of its inhabitants are into. Personally, I find myself more and more putting the phone away when on the trains. If you look up ince in a while, there's so much fun to look at...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You don't have to bump into them, although on a crowed platform the notion is tempting. (Hey, throwing something at their head is also tempting!). Just stand in front of them and look at them like the idiot that they are when they look up. Less likely to get you arrested or start a fight, and you still get your point across.

@Cylon

I sometimes use GPS and will stop and look as required, making sure I'm not obstructing others beforehand.

People should be constantly aware of their surroundings when they step outside. It's called responsibility.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In many cases folks here in Tokyo don't ebven need to be on a smartphone to do silly things on the pavement.........

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sometimes I'd just stand there and let a beautiful one walk into my arms!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese flat expressionless faces are like zombies just as they are, much more with smartphones. Let's be aware of our surroundings to avoid being said so.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

besides the smartphones there has always been those who just put their head down and expect people to move out of their way. i will give ground if the other person paying attention and also gives ground. otherwise, why should i have to move out of their way?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Idiots, It's simple. Pull off to the side with your back against the wall of a building so that you aren't in the way, and do your business. Do not walk around in parking lots doing your business and there's nothing that important that needs your immediate attention If there was there would be a phone call. If it does by chance come by text, pull off to the side where you're not a nuisance. Geez, common sense is gone.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People as a whole will do anything to turn off reality. First it was cell phones, now it's smart phones. Just how it is. Most people living in the civilized parts of the word are mind numbingly stupid. Smart phones help those that are mentally stunted embrace their stupidity. Same thing with people that text and drive.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I enjoy bumping those off on the rare occasion I actually not cycling, knocking the phone down is an extra bonus

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Stupid is Stupid does

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Smartphone zombies are bad, but people who go out of their way just to bump into said zombies are just as bad.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@Hoshino San

Japanese flat expressionless faces are like zombies just as they are...

I don't think so.

Let's be aware of our surroundings to avoid being said so.

That makes sense, but it's a problem everywhere. Worldwide zombie outbreak! (Thankfully they don't eat brains)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Start fining the people who text and ride bikes, and issue warnings to those seen texting and walking. They are a menace. What is the point in apologising if you're going to repeat the same mistake 5 minutes later. Hit them where it hurts- their pockets

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But smartphones are only a piece in a larger puzzle. It wasn't that long ago that smartphones weren't available, but I still recall seeing people walking while glued to a book, PSP or other game device, fliphone almost every day. Even worse were people doing said things on a bicycle....at night ( no lights either ). Walking ( or even cycling )around town oblivious to your surrounds because you're fixated on a book, game or whatever is a bit of a problem in this country. Smartphones have just made this habit easier really.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The other morning while I was on my bicycle I stopped before crossing a road because there was a vehicle about to get into the main road. While I'm waiting, exactly the same time the vehicle tried to go forward, this zombie came on the opposite side on his mamachari, eyes glued to his phone, earphones on and bump! I couldn't do much but laughing at him. Luckily for him the driver didn't hit him hard.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

For all the men thinking it is funny to joke about purposefully running into women, please consider you are basically saying you find it funny to grope women against their consent. Classy.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

The walkers I can handle - it's the morons who do it on their bikes that really get my goat. Now THAT is dangerous...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@justbcuzisay... if i'm not paying attention, then I couldn't give consent if you asked.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

any good place to bump in to smartphone 'zomshes' in Tokyo ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Did you know that one can get fined up to 30,000 Yen for driving on the wrong side of the street with bicycle?

A separate issue, but one that also goes on all the time. I'd love to see it get enforced. And rather than Japan obsessing about obeying traffic signals at empty intersections - they'd do better to focus on texting-cyclists

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People who purposefully bump into someone on their phone are more obnoxious than the phone user was in the first place. The phone user is just ignorant. The bumper is wilfully violent.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Whats worse is a bicycle riding smart-phone using zombie!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Personally I view cycling while holding an umbrella as the lesser evil - as you at least generally have your eyes on the road/ footpath. Moreover, most people don't have heavy raincoats to use instead, and many live some distance from the station. Nonetheless texting-cyclists are a menace that needs to be stomped on. Most of them have zero peripheral awareness, and talking on the phone while cycling - almost as bad

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All the effort has been on stopping drivers talking on phone while driving. It is past time much more effort is diverted to awareness campaigns for pedestrians not to walk in cities while engaged on phone....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ReformedBasher

"Japanese flat expressionless faces are like zombies just as they are... "

I don't think so.

Thanks. It is just a warning to us Japanese. As for Japanese people, our moral standards are lowering for various cases. The problem is that quite few people are conscious of it. We must make effort to improve ourselves, otherwise all the impressions about us will get worse in the future, possibly including appearance in the end. Those are what I meant. Above was a bit extreme comment, sorry.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

All the effort has been on stopping drivers talking on phone while driving

Effort? What effort? I see people flouting that law all the time. Now if there were plainclothes police posing as pedestrians and issuing fines we would see texting-cycling etc come to a screaming halt

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Hiroshi Hoshino I personally thought your insightful comment was spot on. In fact, after years of living Japan, I too have become very expressionless and zombie-like. This is something my family and friends have commented on when I returned to my home country. I guess it's all a part of surviving and adapting.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Zombies are all the rage just now so maybe these people are at the forefront odf a cultural movement......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Hoshino San

We must make effort to improve ourselves, otherwise all the impressions about us will get worse in the future

I agree.

Above was a bit extreme comment, sorry.

I understand this is how you expressed your concern. No problem. Let's hope more people will become aware of their foolish action and stop bothering / endangering themselves and others

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's very simple; when you see a zombie approaching on a collision course, wait until almost the last moment then scream as high as you can. Watch them absolutely flip. I use this also in the chatting at top of escalator / closing door on me / chatting in middle of aisle / walking into me after paying in a conbini situations

0 ( +3 / -3 )

ReformedBasher: "At train stations (as a start), there should be signs and fines for walking and using a smartphone at the same time - worldwide."

Why stop there? Let's ban all paper maps you might use while walking, newspapers have to go in plastic bags and cannot be held lest a person read the headline while buying and walking out of a shop or from a kiosk, certainly no receipts can be allowed because people do look at them while exiting stores, no music players, no women are allowed to wear revealing tops, etc.

I'm so sick of people blaming a lack of common sense on 'smartphones' (regular cell-phones are A-OK, by the way!) when it is simply people being STUPID. I saw a teacher a little while back walking around my neighbourhood staring at a map to get to her students' houses (I know because I helped her out) and nearly walked into some shrubs in front of one house -- but that's not the fault of the map, it's because she was engrossed in it and not looking where she was walking. And as I've said before, I had a woman run straight into me because she was staring at her bank book balance while she exited a bank and was not looking at the road. I see people driving and WATCHING TV on their navigation/TV sets, but you'll NEVER hear the suggestion that those be banned, will you?

You can't fine someone for using a smartphone while walking if they are walking if you're not going to fine them for EVERYTHING else that they may be focussed on instead of the road.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Farmboy

Throwing eggs at them seems a bit extreme..

What a waste of good eggs that would be...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cellphone zombies are hilarious. I am constantly amused by the bimbos walking around with both hands on their cell phones held about face high and texting with both hands. I see students, work professional's and even physicians in hospitals do it but the interesting similarity of all these zombies is that 99.9% are women that I would say younger than 30 years old. They are from the same crowd who used to (maybe still do) walk around with a cup of Starbucks in one hand while blindly speaking on their cell phones and not paying any attention to their surroundings. Reminds me of babies walking around with a bottle of milk or sweet treat in their hands and never grew up or disconnected from the need to suck their mother's teat . I just want to hang my leg out there and trip them up to watch them fall face first into the floor. It's a shame that so many young people spend more time watching tiny TV screens than watching the beautiful world around themselves. It's not so much that they are zombies but that they are hypnotized by social media and are too stupid to realize it. Orwell's 1984 has come home to roost.

4 ( +8 / -5 )

why doesn't some one come up with an app that warns or the smart phone users that there is another smart phone (as they would have the same app) within two feet of that user then they would not bump into each other!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Candy Crush is old news JT.

PokoPang and LINE POP are the best distractions right now.

Saw a woman drop her smartphone off the platform the other day. Pretty funny.

She went from FEVER to an angry fever when she blamed another commuter for the bump.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just as humans are trying to deal with cars, motorcycles etc...now fools and their so called smartphones!! Just accidents waiting to happen!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This used to be a big issue when rain was falling and we had to dodge each other's umbrellas. That probably still goes on, but what could be so interesting for so many people to be gazing into these gadgets. I wonder how many actually look at the scenery around them or share in a real conversation with people moving their lips. Yes, I am too old to appreciate them maybe, but at least I enjoy the world around me - not just on a phone screen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Every day I venture out onto the roads and side-walks in Japan it's a constant battle trying to avoid possible accidents. Anyone who has lived here for a lengthy period of time is struck by so many people's lack of spatial awareness and general common sense when moving around on foot or by bicycle. This is just made worse with people continually fixated on their smartphone screens. Do these people feel they don't have to take responsibility for their actions and can simply rely on other people to watch out for them? Because this is the impression I get. The only way for these people to learn is to more strictly police the streets. However I'm not sure this will happen. Just the other day I saw a police officer on his bicycle waiting at an intersection and a student was on his bicycle next to him carrying an umbrella AND looking at his phone. Yet the cop did nothing! Oh well!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hawkeye: "It's not so much that they are zombies but that they are hypnotized by social media and are too stupid to realize it. Orwell's 1984 has come home to roost."

How on EARTH does this have even the slightest thing to do with 1984? Do you even know what the book's about? if anything it would be 1984 if you BANNED and/or monitored what people said on social media -- not if it spread or people used it when crossing a street. You certainly wouldn't be able to call the "99.9%" (you obviously aren't looking around at all, either) of users 'bimbos' or suggest they are still babies dependent on the teat, especially when you fail to take into account that this is dealing with people crossing roads at places like Shibuya station -- the most heavily trafficked intersection in the world, at the peak time of business, when more 'zombies' are headed off to work in cubicles. Such bizarre analogies to avoid, again, the obvious problems -- it's not the tool they are using, it's the fact that people are not paying attention to their surroundings. And to suggest it's all young women is ludicrous; I see people of all ages looking at cell phones (not just smartphones!) while walking or even riding bicycles (saw an elderly women checking her garakei while riding on the sidewalk just a few hours ago).

JWithers: "She went from FEVER to an angry fever when she blamed another commuter for the bump."

Well, was it her fault? If she was standing on the platform waiting for the train and using her phone and someone hit her from behind, thus dropping the phone off the platform (seems more reasonable than a person walking, reaching over the the edge of the platform, and it falling), then why shouldn't she be mad at the person? If she was indeed not looking at anything but her phone while walking and thus the bump and dropping of the phone, then yes, completely her fault and her anger all the more humorous.

David: "now fools and their so called smartphones!! Just accidents waiting to happen!!!"

Again, people blaming on this on smartphones seem to think accidents never existed before or that it is ALWAYS someone using a smartphone when it is not. There are enough "zombies" as it is walking around or biking on sidewalks or wherever they please without needing a smartphone for accidents to occur.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

cellphone zombies, hey I coined the new portmanteau "kei-zom". I mustn't be the only one who sees them as zombies. Last week while out for a bike ride I passed 5 different HS kids riding bikes in the space of 2-3 mins, all glued to their phones, the last one, nearly rode into me and got a hell of a fright - idiot.

If the kei-zom is toting an iphone, just know that its more fragile and more likely to suffer a broken screen if you bump into them and they drop it....(whistling)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I find Japanese in general (maybe it's a Tokyo thing?) to be pretty good at being unaware of their surroundings, even without this vice. How many times have I had to alert idiots walking forward and looking in another direction? I've lost count... It seems to be popular around here. I think this smartphone thing suits this country very well. Japan is an uncharming place where people try to buy their way to happiness and do their best to avoid interaction with fellow humans the best they can. Perfect!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

There are enough "zombies" as it is walking around or biking on sidewalks or wherever they please without needing a smartphone for accidents to occur.

A very rational argument

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Still though, they look a bit foolish and can be a pain in the behind, but at least they are walking and getting exercise. In other countries these same sort of folk would probably be doing the same thing while driving, which is a whole different level of havoc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While it's important to spread the message that using your cellphone while walking, especially in crowded places, can be dangerous to yourself and others, reading some of the comments people have written here makes me think that another message needs to be spread–one of general compassion and consideration. Here's a story:

My father died of cancer this year. A week before he died, my sister and I drove him to an appointment at the hospital. His lung cancer had spread throughout his body, including his skeletal system, and his ribs had cracked from all the coughing he was doing. He was practically in tears, whimpering in pain, each time the car hit a little bump in the road, or when we went over a speed bump, so my sister was trying to drive as slowly as was safe, and taking turns really gently. The entire time we were driving, people would zoom past us, giving us the finger or starting us down because we weren't moving quickly enough for them. Of course, I'm sure if they were aware of what our family was dealing with in our car, they'd understand and treat us with more care.

My point is, maybe 99% of the people you see on their phones are playing a game. Who knows? But, if you live in a big city like Tokyo or Osaka, and 1% of the people on their phones have just gotten a text like, "Hey, mom is sick," or "Call me as soon as you get this," then you're probably walking past 5 or 6 people each day who are dealing with something so heavy that they could use whatever help you can give them, whether it be giving them a bit of space to walk, or simply not intentionally walking into them to prove a silly point.

Sure, we all get sick and tired of inconsiderate people, but always assume positive intent.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The only zombie I wanna see are the ones in the latest Walking Dead episode.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The army of Tokyo smartphone 'zombies' is the absolutely amazing one in the world. the worse part is the number is strill growing from my vantage point, SMH!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I find Japanese in general (maybe it's a Tokyo thing?) to be pretty good at being unaware of their surroundings, even without this vice.

It is most certainly not Tokyo. Being unaware of one's surroundings is my biggest pet-peeve, and funny thing is when I talk about it with Japanese friends/students they say it is because this (Shizuoka) is 'the countryside.' And they are a little correct, if you are annoyed about this in Tokyo, you will go crazy here.

I also find it strange that the blame is all put on the device, when there are plenty of free-handed people, people with books/manga or people with portable gaming devices just as guilty of being 'zombies'

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sure, we all get sick and tired of inconsiderate people, but always assume positive intent.

The thought has crossed my mind as well. Even though I am among those who in general detest the cellphone zombies (as I posted above), I do now and then think to myself, "Maybe they are reading a text update on a loved-one's condition" or "They're just confirming their child has made it home safely."

And when I do think that way, my anger often melts away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Smartphones are the new opium of the people. Worse in Tokyo than in any other city around he world, Japanese people are real "zombies". And here, moreover pedestrians, there are also cyclists who are using their smartphones when riding bicycles which makes the sidewalks more dangerous than ever. And the japanese policemen are doing nothing... so loose…!!!...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many, many QR code blocks painted on crossings, in-between the lines, pattern recognition in the smartphone fires up an app that blanks the screen. Royalties in gold or cash, no cheques please.

NB this now prior art.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I find Japanese in general (maybe it's a Tokyo thing?) to be pretty good at being unaware of their surroundings, even without this vice. How many times have I had to alert idiots walking forward and looking in another direction? I've lost count... It seems to be popular around here. I think this smartphone thing suits this country very well. Japan is an uncharming place where people try to buy their way to happiness and do their best to avoid interaction with fellow humans the best they can. Perfect!

I totally agree with Knox Harrington on so many levels here. Well put.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: Mobile Zombies - I will no long account for both my and your flight path. I will no longer deviate, pirouette, shuffle, two-step etc. to avoid you. I will maintain my line (as you maintain your Line) but I will go through you. I will conveniently look away to even up your lack of attention to reality. I will be ready, you will not be. Years of playing contact sport will work in my favor. You will be engaging Dungeon and Dragons. I will be engaging a Hip and Shoulder. I hope it will teach you a lesson about street etiquette. If you are toting a hot coffee I will see it as bonus points. This is a heads up in more ways than one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The technology exists to blank phones that are traveling at a walking speed. Make the technology mandatory and you'd eliminate all the fuss at crosswalks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can almost understand someone quickly reading an email or something, but when I was in Tokyo I saw a huge number of people playing games on their phones, in the middle of very busy stations at rush hour, while everyone had to dodge around them. Unbelievable!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't imagine what people do on their phones, or can I imagine who they see to be talking to all the time. It is high unlikely that I will ever get a smart phone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was practically in tears, whimpering in pain, each time the car hit a little bump in the road, or when we went over a speed bump, so my sister was trying to drive as slowly as was safe, and taking turns really gently. The entire time we were driving, people would zoom past us, giving us the finger or starting us down because we weren't moving quickly enough for them. Of course, I'm sure if they were aware of what our family was dealing with in our car, they'd understand and treat us with more care.

Turn on the car blinkers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Turn on the car blinkers.

They were on, but drive long enough on a road with no passing lane (except the one carrying traffic going the other direction) and people will assume you're old and forgot to turn them off, especially when there is no physical damage or problem with your car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“If people continue walking around looking at their phones, I think we could see more accidents happening.”

Wow this is such an astute observation. I nominate them for Astute Observationist 2014.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

i bet the large majority of them are Iphone users

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I always end up moving around people on phones because I actually have no argument for not seeing them if my attention isn't on a device of some sort.

It's a tought one. I feel like people should understand it's dangerous and not to rely on others but I don't feel comfortable bumping them to prove that point. Most likely they'll just think I'm a dick and continue on their merry way.

I use my phone in public when checking the map, etc, but only if there's a wide, empty space in front. And, even then, it's just glances. I'm getting better at sending messages while looking ahead(autocorrect ftw), but if someone were to intentionally bump into me because they crossed my path for the 1/2 second it took me to glance at my phone I'd be pretty pissed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

when there are plenty of free-handed people, people with books/manga or people with portable gaming devices just as guilty of being 'zombies'

This is true. Awareness of surroundings is something many Japanese people lack

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The medical term for this phenomenon is "adult acquired autism"

6 ( +6 / -0 )

For sure, the "icy stares" poster will work. I want one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Put down that iPhone!

Get off my lawn!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Darwin Awards, all

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan's smartphone 'zombies' wreak havoc on the streets

See these people all the time walking around oblivious to the world around them. Feel sorry for them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article is so offensive! Don't call us zombies! We're not undead hordes. We have superhuman attention skills! In fact, I'm typing this comment as I'm walking. I'm aware of everything. The light is green... I got a new like on facebook... Bicycle passing... Two new emails, probably spam... See? I know everything going on arounnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Zombie of all kinds smartphone, book-reading, textingcycling - are a menace. A crackdown is needed

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with Sillygirl, people are encouraged to use their smartphones at anytime and anywhere because we are polite to them.

In my country, you don't see that much that behavior, but that's because you will always risk a snatcher taking away your phone... sad I know, but effective

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

These zombies not only are engrossed with their smartphones but often have their earphones on listening to loud music. Ive had plenty of zombies just plain walk right into me and ghen look at me as if I was at fault. ridiculous. but at almost 100kg when they collide with me they learn an uncomfortable lesson, still something should be done about it especially in busy stations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

still something should be done about it especially in busy stations.

Some stations make announcements about phone use on train platforms, but until they start fining people they may as well be whistling into the wind

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I´m sixty... and I do walk pretty connected since i´m into stock buying and real time tickers n stats. I think you just develop and extra sense of your surroundings, and it works pretty well in 95% of the situations. I´d been crash by people walking even without any gadget in their hands. Is like saying that only drunk people get into car accidents.

Another idea that plays on my mind, shared by many travelers, is that if you start living in a dangerous city, you develop a sixth sense of the people and things surrounding you. Things happening on your back or sides make you react or at least keep your radar ON. Have you had this kind of experience and feeling?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sometimes such zombies on a train form barricades in the vicinity of train doors to block us from getting off, in spite of our begging, like "Please step aside, I must get off here, please, PLEASE , P..LEA..SE........." "Bye, my station"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

a wavelength nullifier with a 10 meter diameter worn under a jacket would do the trick. It would also be hilarious to watch

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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