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Carelessness of smartphone users really gets my goat

The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female part-time worker in my 50s. I am fed up with people who lack manners when using their smartphones in public.

Whenever I go out, I see way too many people using their smartphones while walking, riding bicycles, pushing a baby stroller or doing other things. This is particularly prevalent at train stations, and makes getting on a train a trying experience.

They just proceed at will without a care in the world. They have no sense of danger in acting in such a way. Why is it necessary to use their smartphones that much? For the life of me, I can’t figure it out.

Recently, I’ve started intentionally bumping into others who walk toward me or block a supermarket shelf while fidgeting with their smartphones. Conversely, they get angry and glare at me. If this keeps going on, I may end up getting arrested. I dread that happening, but my patience is wearing thin.

I myself have never owned a smartphone, nor do I intend to ever get one. I just totally despise them.

If only smartphones were eradicated from the planet ... Really, it is a struggle just to go out every day.

F, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. F:

About a year ago while I was waiting on the platform for a train, I was bumped from behind by a person using a smartphone. It gave me a fright. Since then, whenever I’m on a platform, I stand behind a pillar or at the foot of stairs with my back against the wall. I never get close to railway tracks.

Anyone who has been bumped like that can understand how dangerous and annoying those who are using smartphones while walking can be. My hope is that smartphone users will have good manners in public, but reality does not always go as we wish.

Even so, you should not intentionally bump into these people. Even though you are annoyed, you have to restrain yourself.

I don’t have a smartphone, either. Not because I don’t like them, but because I don’t need one.

There is no excuse for a lack of manners, but such widespread use of the gadgets surely stems from their convenience. It’s immature to reject something that others deem necessary based only on your negative feelings about it.

Then there is the aspect that you hate it without ever trying it. How about giving a smartphone a shot? If you find it doesn’t suit you, then you can just stop using it.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from April 12, 2017, issue)Speech

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