1. Social
June 15, 2015

A mobile phone firm has installed new "text walking lanes" in Antwerp, because publicity

By City Monitor Staff

Oh for heaven’s sake. From Bored Panda:

After Chongqing in China and Washington DC in US, now Antwerp in Belgium has it’s own “text walking lanes”. A local smartphone specialist, MLab, discovered that a lot of people text while walking, then bump into each other and drop their smartphones. With broken screens, buttons or trashed cases as a result.

By jokingly placing “text walking lanes”, they want to prevent smartphones from breaking.

No they don’t. They want to garner lots of free publicity by doing nothing more than painting a few lines on a Belgian pavement.

We can’t fault it as a strategy, it must be said. This story has been repeated in publications as diverse as the Mail Online, the Irish Examiner, Gizmodo, and 自由時報電子報. (No, your computer hasn’t gone funny.)

And now, CityMetric too. We’re no better than we ought to be.

As Bored Panda noted, this isn’t the first time someone has pulled this particular trick. In Chongqing, a “no phones” lane appeared last autumn. But it was only 50m long, and it was an attraction, of sorts, in a theme park called Yangren Jie (“Foreigner Street”).

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The people in charge of that nicked it from Washington DC, where such a lane had been set up as part of the reality TV show, Mind Over Masses, broadcast on the National Geographic channel. The purpose of the exercise, apparently, was to demonstrate that, well, everyone would ignore it.

It’s a publicity stunt. It’s always a publicity stunt. And we fall for it, every single time.

Anyway, here are some more pictures.



Antwerp looks nice, anyway.

Images: MLab.

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