The recent invasion of the Phillips Academy campus by new Juniors, Lowers and Uppers has caused a spike in the rate of texting-related accidents, according to a report released by the Isham Health Center last Saturday.
Over the course of the past three weeks, 24 students have been injured on the pathways while pretending to use their phones to avoid eye contact and/or conversation with fellow pedestrians.
While most of the victims have managed to escape with little more than a few scratches, several students suffered more serious wounds, including broken legs, concussions, and, in the case of one post-graduate, a shattered ego.
Fake-texting injuries (FTIs) typically occur during the time between classes as two people approach one another on a pathway. The less socially adept of the two will usually pull out his or her phone and immediately begin to compose a text message, a strategy which impairs balance and vision and often results in either tripping or a man-to-man collision.
FTIs are hardly new occurrences at PA, as they have been reported annually since 1995.
“There’s usually one or two every fall term,” said John Greely ’15. “People expect FTIs from the Juniors, because they’re literally the most awkward people on the planet.”
However, the sheer quantity of incidents this year has gone above and beyond anything seen in the past. It has been speculated that the high number of Uppers is to blame for this phenomenon. In contrast to the pack-like hoards of freshmen, the overworked Uppers are more likely to be found walking alone, which nearly dodecaquintuples their risk of FTIs.
“Social awkwardness is a real issue for us new students,” said Hayley Rosenfield ’16. Rosenfield was sent to Isham earlier this week when she sprained her wrist walking into the flagpole outside of Commons after attempting to avoid eye contact with her biology lab partner. “I personally hate social interaction, so when I see people I know on the path, I just scroll through my iPhone apps and go to my mental happy place until they disappear.”
Said a new student: “I added all the returning students on Facebook, so why would I bother holding a conversation in real life when I can just poke them? No, really…Why?”
Article originally published on September 18, 2014.