Street Lights Designed To Allow You To Keep Staring At Your Phone Divides Internet

by : Julia Banim on : 17 Oct 2021 12:09
Street Lights Designed To Allow You To Keep Staring At Your Phone Divides Internet@naturalkorean/TikTok

People have been left divided over LED traffic crossing lights that allow people to keep staring into their phones, even while crossing roads.

These signal lights were installed in the South Korean capital of Seoul in 2019. Initially intended as a trial, it would appear the lights have since become a more permanent solution to the problem of ‘smombies’ or ‘smartphone zombies’.


A video of the lights has now been shared to TikTok by @naturalkorean, sparking a decidedly mixed bag of opinions. Although it’s a good idea in theory to protect people too hooked on social media to check their surroundings, surely this sort of careless behaviour shouldn’t be encouraged.

Check it out:


The video shows a hoard of ‘smombies’ glued to their phones while crossing a busy city street. Even as someone who has previously bumped into people while smombie-ing about, and who cannot pass judgement on anybody’s social media habits, the scene made me feel more than a bit nervous.

One person commented that although the invention is ‘kind of genius’, they couldn’t understand why ‘people must stare at their phones 24/7 while walking’. Another accused the government of ‘normalising walking while on your phone’, declaring this is ‘not okay at all’.

However, there are those who believe there are some solid pros to this innovative traffic invention, with one person remarking this would be ‘good for introverts and people with social anxiety’.

Another praised South Korea for being able to ‘adapt to the people without judging’, arguing that this is ‘how society should work’.


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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, South Korea


  1. MailOnline

    South Korea has street lights on the GROUND so you can keep staring at your phone while waiting for traffic to stop - so is it a genius idea or a shameful invention for a dangerous addiction?