Monday, January 25, 2010

Walking-Talking, Avoid!

I have been a great fan of Idea Cellular’s advertisement. Their ads are differentiated. Unlike others’, which delve on features, offers or sentiments, Idea’s ads most often have social message in it.

Walking-Talking is one such campaign that urged people to use the time spent talking over mobile to walk and keep one healthy. The ad goes on to depict how people in India use the idea to become healthy and how the doctor (Abhishek), who suggests this idea in the first place, loses his business as Indians have become healthy!

Of course, we have heard that it is dangerous to talk and drive, but talking and walking seemed to be a good thought. But a recent incident changed my feelings about Walking-Talking!

Last week after my routine game of tennis in the morning at the Mylapore Club, I took my car and proceeded towards the gate. While, I was taking doing the roundabout just before the gate, a person who was talking over phone appeared suddenly from nowhere. I am sure that I wasn’t speeding but I could have been little slower though. The other person who probably is one of the oldest members of the club became furious and in a tone, which I didn’t much admire, suggested that I drive slowly. Since I was sure that I wasn’t driving rash, I lost my cool. I suggested back to him that he better avoid talking and walking. Well since it was an ego trip for both of us, no one heard each other. Without wanting to carry this conversation any further, I left.

Now this incident, in addition, to bruising my ego also led me to think about Idea’s Walking-Talking ad. Not that people weren’t doing it before but just that I strongly associate the activity with the ad. If driving and talking is dangerous, shouldn’t the rule apply to walking and talking?

Studies indicate that during Driving-Talking, a multi-tasking activity, our concentration levels are devoted more towards talking. This causes many accidents as a driver loses sense of direction and speed. Now it may be debated that walking may not be as dangerous as the horsepower is limited to the maximum ability of the two legs. But it has to be noted that they are not the only ones who fight for the tarred surface.

Walking and talking over phone can be as dangerous. Look around and you will find many cases.

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