Get Your Head Out of Your Phone!
Just a few days ago, a gunman shot multiple people in a Florida airport. A place that many think is a safe place. In fact, many people think a restaurant, bar, nail saloon, mall football stadium and other public places are ‘safe’. Many that seldom think of personal safety neglect to be aware of everything around them.
Try this…… Next time you are out, put your phone down and notice what people are doing around you. Are they aware of what is going on? Is your bartender paying attention to everything? I would bet that at least half of the people you see have their heads buried in their cell phones.
If your head is buried in your phone, you have no clue what is going on around you. I’m not saying put your phone away when you are out. If you are going to be on your phone, pull your eyes away from it frequently to see what is going on.
Cell phones are not the only distractions. Whatever you find yourself doing, move your eyeballs around occasionally and observe what is going on around you. Look at each person and check out their body language. If you see something or someone that raises the hair on your neck, check them out a little more. Your gut instinct is right more than it is wrong (check out the book by Gavin de Becker for more on listening to your gut: The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence).
The photo in this post is from a local restaurant here in Colorado. I stopped to pick something up for my wife and have an adult tasty beverage. This gentleman had his head buried in his phone for about 45 minutes. I observed him look up only once. I bet he had no thought of personal safety while sitting at this bar. I also watched the overworked bartender. She was so focused on her job as it was dinner time and super busy. I could tell she had no clue what was going on around her. I don’t take much to look around occasionally to see what is going on.
I have emphasized the importance of glancing up and looking around. Now, how often do you look around to locate the exits? If something happens such as a shooting in a business you are in, where do you go? Can you get to an exit? If not, what options do you have? Many people that don’t have a plan may freeze. Always discuss your plans with those you are with. Ensure your family members know what to do if you get separated. Establish a rally point.
It is important to always think of these things everywhere you go. Some will say, well, that is being too paranoid. I disagree. It is called having a plan and being prepared for the worst-case scenario. Next time you go out, these are things to think about and discuss. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones are too important to neglect safety.