How Texting Ties Into Darwinian Theory

Charles Darwin would never have been more excited.

A national association of ER doctors sent out a warning this week that text-related injuries are on the rise. More and more people are being hurt as they try to tap out text messages while walking, driving, or biking. At least two have even died: a woman who stepped off a curb and into the street while texting, and a man who similarly crossed the road with his thumbs pounding away.

The list goes on and on. So why the Darwin mention? At the risk of sounding insensitive — which, as anyone who reads this site regularly knows, is a risk I rarely avoid — I’d like to suggest that this phenomenon is a form of modern-day evolution.

Hear me out: Natural selection states that those with the greatest “fitness,” or traits, are most likely to reproduce — thereby making those traits more prominent and the weaker traits less prominent with each passing generation. Survival of the fittest, baby.

So is this any different? It’s a 21st century version of the exact same science. If you’re dumb enough to use your technology in a way that endangers your life, then your genes are probably best left unpassed. The next generation, with the same sort of inherited reasoning, would only be apt to make the same mistakes and suffer the same fate.

I hate to say it — but ER docs, warn no more. Those who wish to text and walk are merely following nature’s path, albeit with a high-tech update. Let it be; our descendants will thank you.

That’s my stance. In any case, I’m glad I’ve reached the conclusion and finished up this article. It’s been awfully hard focusing on the road while leaning over my laptop.