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'Is 23 minutes walking distance?': Viral tweet inspires hilarious debate

From how walkable an area is to disability, Twitter users noted how 'walking distance' is dependent on context.

'Is 23 minutes walking distance?': Viral tweet inspires hilarious debate
Image Source: (Bottom) Cavan Images / Getty Images (Top) whitewolf_works / Twitter

Twitter user Milkandaura recently took to the platform to ask a very crucial question: "Do you guys consider 23 minutes a walking distance?" While it may seem like a noncontroversial topic to you, the post sparked a hilarious and insightful debate online. Several fellow users shared their two cents on the question, with some in agreement and others not. The question even opened up discussions about walkability, cultural differences and the lived experiences of men versus women. What started off as a harmless query turned into a heated debate. The tweet currently has 636 retweets, over 11,800 quote tweets and more than 33,500 likes.


Many users believed that 23 minutes was, indeed, walking distance. One person responded, "Yeah, anything under about an hour is unless I am in a particular hurry." A fellow user agreed, adding, "Unless it’s really awful out anything under an hour is walking distance." However, they did note that this was also because they live in New York, where sidewalks are accessible almost everywhere. If they had to dress fancy, though, they said they might not be willing to walk for an hour. They concluded, "I [would only] do this in walking shoes or sneakers."


On the other hand, dozens of folks vehemently disagreed, with many stating anything more than 10 to 15 minutes was pushing it. "I can walk 23 minutes (and plenty more) but no, I do not consider that 'walking distance,'" one user commented. "I consider under 10 minutes 'walking distance.' Why? Because realistically, one has to be able to easily walk to and back from several 'walking distance' locations several times a day." Others were in agreement: "No, that is what bikes are for," one person stated. One user humorously added, "So many people saying yes. Oh gosh, maybe I am lazy."


Nonetheless, the answer boiled down to context. For instance, as some users pointed out, it may be walking distance for someone who is able-bodied. Disabled folks may not feel the same way. One person wrote, "I'm disabled and this is way too much walking for me. If I'm doing errands, I don't want more than five minutes at a time walking. If seeing friends outside I can do a bit more for the fresh air. Everyone be kind and tell people the time it takes instead of saying 'walking distance.'" Meanwhile, some users noted how certain areas were more walkable than others.


"[It] depends on where you’re walking; an area with sidewalks and an actual place for pedestrians, yes," one Twitter user said, for example. "But I wouldn’t want to walk that far in a more rural area just in the roadway. Even on a shoulder, too dangerous." The walkability of certain countries led to cultural differences. One person asked, "[It] was about this long of a walk to my school each day and back when I was a kid so yes, totally? That's really not that far. Is this just an American thing because you're all so used to driving absolutely everywhere?" Furthermore, women highlighted the importance of considering safety. In this context, one woman commented, "During the day, yes. At night, no." Well, Twitter users may not have reached a consensus. But what do you think, would you call 23 minutes walking distance?


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