We all have done it.

We have sent or looked at a text while driving. We have glanced at our cellphone while sitting with a group of close friends. We have at one time or another excused ourselves from a situation to take a phone call on our cell phone.

But, like my mom always asked, "If everyone is doing it, does it make it OK?" And, the short answer is one we all know. No, it is not OK. But, we do it anyway.

Texting and driving:

Playing Scrabble while driving isn't the best of ideas, yet we type away words and read ones sent to us, all while speeding along the streets and highways.

It is dangerous, and might soon be illegal in Tucson with a $100 fine or $250 fine if it causes an accident.

I don't think you need a police officer to tell you something is wrong with this. Deep down, no matter how good you think you might be at texting, it is wrong and dangerous. You are putting your life and those lives around you at risk.

I urge you next time you receive a text, use common sense. I'm not saying you need to pull your car off the road, park, and then get your cell phone from the trunk of the car. I am simply saying wait until you are at a red light, wait until you are in stop-and-go traffic.

You wouldn't try and sort a deck of cards while driving full speed, so why is it OK to text?

Texting and walking:

Earlier this month, The New York Times released a video talking about the proper etiquette for texting and walking. They recommended pulling to the side and out of the way of the flow of pedestrian traffic and finishing your text with your back against the wall.

You walk slower while texting, you aren't paying attention to where you are going, and you could injure yourself or someone else.

Again, use common sense. Take a moment to look and see that you are not the most important person in the world. Other people need to get where they are going too.

Some people on the Internet have proposed an iPhone texting camera. They suggest a camera pointing directly out of the top of the phone. Then, while texting, a tiny screen would be displayed on the phone screen while texting. Thus, being able to see where you are going while texting and walking, much like a camera on the back of a car that turns on when you are backing up.

The only problem here is that when you are backing up in a car, you are paying attention to the fact that you are backing up. You are noticing your corners, your speed and what is around you. The camera on the back of your car is there to help you.

While texting, if you were paying attention to the camera screen and not what you are writing, you might as well simply be looking up.

The problem is not the number of cameras on your cell phone. The problem is you.

Texting while in the company of others:

Earlier this month I went out to dinner with a fellow photographer and wanted to try out something I had heard about and it worked great.

Everyone pools their cell phones together and stacks them face down on top of each other, and I suggest with the ringers turned off.

The rules are simple: the first person to pick up their cell phone before the end of the meal has to pay the bill. You can also do a round of drinks or something along those lines.

My friend and I had only been sitting down for five to ten minutes when we decided to try this. All of a sudden we were talking and having a conversation. It is surprising how much cell phones distract us from what is happening right in front of us.

You don't have to play this game, you could simply use common sense (I see a theme here).

Put your cell phone away and keep it away. Enjoy the company of others. Facebook updates, and your text messages will still be there when you are done with you meal, I promise.


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