Facebooking Woman Takes A Long Walk Off A Short Pier

from the status-update:-wet dept

The stories of people paying such rapt attention to their phones or GPS have somehow tapered off lately. There was a rash of them a while back, what with people falling into manholes or ending up on the wrong side of a continent, but we've been suspiciously without such an occurrence for some time. Did the general population somehow uniformly raise their IQ points a few notches? Did tech companies build in some kind of idiot-proof safeguard? Did one of our esteemed pharmaceutical companies develop a stupid vaccination?

Well, if any of that has indeed happened, it must not have hit Australia, where one woman decided to see if she could play out a 1950's insult in today's time by taking a long walk off a short pier. The culprit in this mishap is her smart phone and that damned Facebook app.

Senior Constable Dean Kelly of the water police said officers found her floating metres from the pier.

"She was still out in the water laying on her back in a floating position because she told us later that she couldn't swim," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted him as saying. "She still had her mobile phone in her hand and initially she apologised... she said 'I was checking my Facebook page on the phone and I've fallen in'."
See, that cute picture of her niece's friend's dog eating a lovely veal shank she'd cooked that night was too important to peer away from, resulting in one too many steps on a pier and a whole lot of wet. Now, I'm no expert, but it would seem to me that if I couldn't swim, the place where I'd be most interested in paying attention to my surroundings would be on an ocean pier. Also, if this is how this non-swimming woman behaved in this setting, what level of oblivious does she reach when she's going about her normal day.

Still, if you were worried about that phone of hers, fear not.
Victoria police, meanwhile, said in a statement that there was no need for a lost property report because the woman "kept hold of her mobile phone throughout the entire ordeal".
That's the kind of dedication that is sorely lacking in the world today. Especially amongst those that should probably be exempted from the gene pool.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    That One Guy (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:05pm

    That can't be right...

    Someone that distracted, living in Australia, and they haven't fallen victim to the dozens, if not hundreds of ways that continent has to kill people living there?

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

      Re: That can't be right...

      I love calling Australia home.

      Not only will most of our animals kill you either slowly and painfully or quick and easy, some of the locals are still silly enough to try and do it themselves!

       

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  •  
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    Ehud Gavron (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:33pm

    Old beer commercial pun... revisited...

    When you're out of slits... you're out of pier.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:08pm

    Although I usually enjoy Techdirt, making stupid jokes about a near-tragedy seems over the top.

     

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    Mega1987 (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:20pm

    nominee?

    Is that woman going for a Darwin's award?

    going off the pier while checking her FB page and not knowing how to swim...

    can anyone double check if that's even feasible for the nominee?

     

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      identicon
      Travis, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:18am

      Re: nominee?

      To get the Darwin, a person has to be "removed from the gene pool". She may qualify for an "Honorable Mention" though (people who survive such mistakes).

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:18pm

    Well, small wonder darryl lives in Australia.

     

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    Andrew Lee, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 12:01am

    She's still too wet behind the ears to be facebooking while walking.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 1:52am

    Dang, we almost had a Darwin Award here! Natural selection didn't act fast enough. Now imagine if the phone was waterproof? I'd guess the headline would be "Woman found thousands of kilometers from home country after being distracted by waterproof phone" and the woman saying "Once my battery died I noticed I was drifting in the middle of the ocean, it was so scary!".

    Human stupidity knows no frontiers!

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:35am

      Re:

      There is no such thing as natural selection anymore. The weak are packed full of meds and other nonsense and the strong are considered bullies and such.

      Welcome to life.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:35am

        Re: Re:

        Your claim may be applicable, in a limited scope, to the humans and livestock located in first world countries but it certainly does not apply elsewhere.

         

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        John Fenderson (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:53am

        Re: Re:

        You've neglected to define "weak" and "strong", so it's hard to comment on most of what you said. However this part: "There is no such thing as natural selection anymore" is 100% untrue regardless.

        Natural selection is working just as much now as ever. It selects for those traits that are best adapted to the environment in which the species is operating. Things like medical care, etc., do not stop natural selection, they merely change the environment and so change the traits being selected.

        Natural selection defines "weak" as "poorly adapted to the environment" and "strong" as "well adapted to the environment." In the right setting, a pasty, physically underdeveloped, asthmatic nerd can be the strongest.

         

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        nasch (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:56pm

        Re: Re:

        There is no such thing as natural selection anymore.

        In addition to what John said, humanity is evolving faster now than it has in the past.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:34am

    Police should start charging the people they help when it's due to their sheer stupidity. Why do the rest of us pay for those iconic morons?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Maybe she should try facebooking and chewing gum at the same time, since she can't seem to walk and facebook at the same time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:41am

    Is this a pier or a dock?

    Most tourist type piers have railings. The railing is a convenient place to carve up your bait and it helps you remain standing when you're pissed.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      It's a pier. A pier is the raised structure that is over the water. A dock is the space between piers, or the space alongside a pier where boats can moor. In the US, though, common usage treats both these words as synonyms.

      Most piers do not have railings.

       

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    The Register's coverage added that there may have been sharks in the water.

    But I have to add that there was one difference between this and most of the other "distracted by tech" stories I've read. In this case, at least the woman just came right out and admitted she screwed up. She didn't blame the tech, or her unfamiliarity with the area, or the sun in her eyes, or the government for putting an ocean right where people are going to stumble over it by accident. How often do you see people doing that these days?

    She also didn't panic when she fell in, but did the best thing she could, lie still and wait for rescue. Training or natural aplomb? I'm somewhat impressed either way.

    Sure, laugh at her mistake. But give her credit, she handled it well and owned up. If she hadn't, you'd have made fun of her attempts to shift the blame. Since she did, credit where credit is due, please.

    El Reg
    http://m.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/19/omfg_i_like_fell_into_shark_infested_waters_while_looking_a t_facebook/ in case I screwed that up, no preview feature in Techdirt Mobile.

     

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    Jim, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    waterproof phone

    I hope she had iOS7, so her phone is waterproof.
    Jim

     

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