Are Red Lights the New Commercial Breaks?

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Commercial breaks are so pre-TiVo, right? No one does anything special during them because, let's face it, if we're not watching a live sporting event or something similar, we're forwarding right through them. But back in the day, commercial breaks were stolen moments when you could quickly get stuff done. Like, go to the bathroom, grab a glass of wine from the kitchen, have a quick chat with the person you were watching the show with, whip off a quick note to someone, address an envelope, mail a letter, make a quick call, read a few pages of a book, do your homework, flip through a magazine... the list was pretty endless. But those moments are now gone.

However, perhaps smartphones and traffic lights have hooked up to create a new kind of commercial break. I'll be the first to admit that the first thing I do when I hit a red light is reach for my iPhone. There are e-mails to be read! Texts to send! Instagrams to see! Facebook comments to reply to! Tweets to devour! Calendars to check! News headlines to scan! Stock tickers to check! Phone numbers to dial! App updates to initiate...

And I'm not alone. We all do it, right? And what's more... we all sorta look forward to red lights now in a way that we never did even 3 years ago. The smartphone has changed the way we think about those little inconvenient stops along our route. Now, they're less inconvenient and maybe even borderline convenient, no? The comments are officially open below. Discuss and prove me wrong.

(photo via nola.com)

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February 8, 2012 - 9:35am
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