One of the most embarrassing things happened to me when I was checking my phone while walking down the road one day. I was on my way to work scrolling mindlessly through Twitter and I walked straight into a lamp post.
Instead of handling it like the mature young career woman I thought I was, the shock of it made me burst instantly into tears. Bus loads of commuters had seen and were, I imagined, laughing uproariously together. A taxi driver honked his horn, probably at traffic but it felt like it was at my hilarious misfortune.
The memory of it makes me want to laugh and be held by my mother all at once.
There's no coming back from walking into a lamp post and bursting into tears on a busy public road. You have to just carry on and hope no one you know or fancy had seen. By 10 it was a tweet, by lunchtime an office anecdote and by hometime I'd forgotten it even happened.
Still, it was an experience I'd rather not relive. It's strange that you don't see more people walking into trees and falling down open manhole covers as they check Twitter on the go. It turns out, I am the exception, not the rule, when it comes to clumsy walking and texting.
Researchers at the University of Bath carried out a study and found that people are no more likely to hit obstacles while walking and texting than when simply walking. When the researchers put their subjects through an obstacle course, they expected to find that completing the course while answering text messages or solving mathematical problems on their phones made them more likely to hit obstacles than when their was course unimpeded.
The hypothesis makes sense - you'd expect someone whose eyes and mind were distracted to walk into more obstacles than someone who was merrily wandering along without anything to take their mind off clearing the course.
But while people using phones completed the course more slowly, they didn't have any more trouble than the regular group. That's because the people using phones moved in a different way - they adapted to the decreased awareness by slowing down, taking shorter steps and allowing for obstacles by making bigger movements.
Checking our phones has physically changed the way we walk and made us no less safe as a result (although try telling that to someone who's just walked into a lamp post).
If checking our smartphones has already changed the way our bodies and minds work together, what other effects could today's technology have on us? If we carried on using them in the same way for thousands of years, could our iPhones and laptops actually affect the way humans evolve?
Will technology alter human evolution?
We talk about evolution a lot in "technology media" - we expect every new product to have "evolved" into a better, faster, stronger version of its former self. But human evolution is a totally different ball game.
While products run in one-year cycles, humans reproduce at a much slower rate and evolution basically comes down to "survival of the fittest", so characteristics are handed down through breeding. Wisdom teeth, for example, are a leftover trait from when humans ate mostly leaves. Some experts think we are still slowly evolving that way.
Technology as we currently know will very likely change our behaviour (like the way we walk), but it's not likely to affect the way the human body evolves.
"There's a reason people in the trendiest coffee shops tend to have Macs in front of them," says Paul Craze, editor of Trends in Ecology and Evolution, the world's top-ranked journal in evolution.
"Apple products are considered more cool. Why be cool? It makes you more popular. Why is being popular good? Whether it's done consciously or not, being popular makes you more influential culturally and also gives you the chance to get laid more often and with higher quality mates."
However, there's not much evidence to support the hypothesis that Mac-owning digital nomads are repopulating the Earth at any significant rate (although one survey does suggest that iPhone owners are having more sex than Android users). So while we might be unwittingly passing a penchant for Apple goods down through the generations, the way we hold phones or pore over laptops isn't going to change the way our hands develop or the bones in our neck change.
"Changes to the basic body plan are incredibly unlikely to occur," Craze says. "Evolution tends to use the maxim if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
That doesn't mean that human bodies won't adapt in the short term, but not in a way that can be passed on to your children. For example, Craze suggests that, "excessive texting, especially in childhood while the body is still growing, might cause you to grow thicker skin on your thumbs", but children aren't going to start being born with scaly thumbs as a result.
Gerard Cheshire, a PhD student at the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences explains: "In order for the hand to evolve in any appreciable way it would require a certain type of hand to be better at using electronic devices and for the people with those hands to have a better chance of survival and reproduction."
While people who are particularly good with their hands may make for preferable mating partners, it seems unlikely that wielding a smartphone will become part of natural selection for the seven billion people on earth. Day-to-day tech probably won't impact human evolution simply because it doesn't affect our survival.
Preparing for the apocalypse
There is one circumstance in which technology could influence survival, though: dystopia. It's possible that in a post-apocalyptic world, the ability to use electronic devices could be the difference between death and survival.
"If there were a nuclear war, those who are more resistant to the effects of radiation would be more likely to pass on their genes," Chesire says, but "electronic devices would only have a noticeable effect if their use were somehow vital to survival and this generated a selective environment.
"It might be that aggregate adeptness with electronic devices promoted evolutionary advantage, such as reliance on some kind of vehicle with a multitude of devices and gadgets that keeps the occupant safe from a hostile world outside."
But until the world ends and the only way to survive is in the Batmobile, you can carry on using your phones knowing that it only really affects your own behaviour.
"Technology will undoubtedly be having some evolutionary impact on the human design," Cheshire sums up. "But it is unlikely to be expressed in any significant way. The changes will be subtle and general, rather than distinct and singular.