What bad habits are prevalent today and how can they be kicked?

In recent years people cannot live without the internet, especially when it is so conveniently condensed into a small device that can fit in our pocket. Today`s smartphones can hold many of the tools we use in our daily lives. From a calculator to a dictionary, convenience is at our fingertips. You see people using their smartphone on a daily basis. People are watching YouTube on the train, reading an article while sitting at the park, or listening to music while going for a morning jog, all manageable functions of their smartphones. However, these smartphones can also consume our attention too much and for some people, they can consume their whole lives.

A particular bad habit that has become prevalent in these current times is people walking while using their smartphones on the street. A frequent problem this habit causes is collisions with other pedestrians on the street. People using their devices while walking can confuse people walking in the opposite direction, and with no indication of which direction the device-user is going, the passerby will sometimes run into them. Not only are there issues with other pedestrians, but also with cyclists or other vehicles, such as cars, motorcyclists, and people on scooters. Especially in busy intersections, many people are walking in various directions, thus distracted walkers can easily disrupt the flow of foot traffic. With all kinds of different obstacles, pedestrians also have to be aware of inattentive people who are using their phones while walking.

This habit does not only affect the other people walking by on the street, but the device users themselves. The posture we have adopted because of smartphones can become a main source of back pain, neck problems, and sometimes even headaches. Constantly in this position of having your head and neck tilted down, even when walking down the street, can lead to long-term effects.

How can we kick this habit? Well, it could be a matter of how necessary it is to use your phone while walking on the street. For example, if you need to find a location using a map application on your phone, in most cases you will be using your phone while walking. In this situation, it is difficult not to use your phone and walk at the same time. However, if you are replying to a message that isn`t urgent, this is unnecessary and should be avoided while walking on the street. Having the self-awareness to recognize how your daily actions or habits are negatively impacting other people can be helpful in making you be a good citizen. Therefore, next time you use your phone while walking, please think, “Do I have to do this now?” People will be less confused about the direction you’re going and can make better decisions about the direction they`re going.

Overall, not using your phone while walking on the street can help prevent collisions and accidents. In bigger metropolitan cities like Tokyo, it can be extremely beneficial to use appropriate pedestrian etiquette while walking, such as having awareness of yourself and others around you, especially if you need to use your phone.


prevalent (adjective) – commonplace; widespread in a particular place
obstacle (noun) – something that is in the way of progress
self-awareness (noun) – conscious knowledge and understanding of your own thoughts, feelings and character or how your actions can affect others around you
metropolitan (adjective) – a large city and its surrounding suburbs
etiquette (noun) – accepted social behavior