I always get a laugh from the signs and bumper stickers that say “Honk if you love Jesus; text while driving if you want to meet him”. And I was an early adopter of Oprah’s “No Phone Zone” pledge, long before laws were passed in Washington State to ban texting while driving.
I admit it is very hard to train yourself not to do a quick glance at your cell phone every now and then, to see what you might be “missing” – but I struggle to find any bit of news or information that would be important enough to endanger someone’s life. Which brings me to today’s doubleheader of incredibly “crumb-y” news items [NOTE: these are ratings I give various ideas: Smart Cookie (good), Half-Baked (so-so), Crumb (bad), etc]
First up is the idiotic new hands-free technology called AppLink from Ford, that allows you to listen to Tweets while you drive – although you are not allowed to respond. Well hallelujah for that small detail! While I love Twitter more than most (you know I do!), I can’t imagine needing to know what’s going on sooooo badly that I have to hear a verbal rundown of the current Twitter stream. And what if I did hear something so compelling that I just had to grab my phone and tweet back? Dumb, dumb and dumber.
I know many of you, me included, think we can multi-task – so I suppose this technology was born with the intention to let us do even more in even less time. But numerous studies have shown the multi-tasking concept to be a fraud. “The human brain has a crippling inability to do two tasks at once,” said neuroscientist René Marois, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, in an interview on Oprah.com. And a British study has found that texting while driving slows reaction time more than being drunk or high. So why do we insist on tempting fate?
And today’s second example is not only crumby, it’s just plain sad. Earlier this week, celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan was killed in a car accident, reportedly caused because he was texting or tweeting while driving. According to CBS News, Ryan died while driving the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu when his Jeep Wrangler went off a cliff, landing on its rooftop. Only moments before, Ryan was sending pictures and updates to his Twitter page.
So while I’m all for new technologies, and taking advantage of every social media tool out there, I hope we can all agree that tweeting while driving is just senseless. There is nothing you can tweet that is so fascinating that it’s worth risking a human life, period. But tell me what you think…just be sure to pull over before you start typing!