I'm a personal freedom guy. I believe we're all adults and should be trusted to behave accordingly. However, can't we all grow up and put down the smart phone for five freaking minutes while you drive from point A to point B?
I can't tell you how many times I've looked to my left or right driving down Central Expressway at 60 miles per hour only to see the driver in the next car looking down at his or her smart phone. Does that disturb you as much as it disturbs me?
Am I guilty of the same thing? I'd be lying if I said no. Of course I have taken a quick glance at my phone and even sent the occasional text while driving. Should I have? Absolutely not.
It only takes a few seconds with your eyes off the road to slam into a stopped car or bridge support or kid on a bicycle. I know I'm coming off like some self-righteous puke right now. And I don't mean to. It's just that I'm trying to turn over a new leaf in the smart phone department.
I recently took the Facebook app off my phone. It was becoming a huge distraction. I would drift in and out of conversations with friends and loved ones while checking the Facebook status of people I've never met. It's the people we know in person that matter.
Seriously, I love my iPhone. It has many important tools I use daily. I even record news stories on it for use on the air. It has all my contacts, navigation maps, Amazon.com for shopping and so much more. But it's not my life.
I've become so tethered to my phone that I think it has given me some strange form of Attention Deficit Disorder. I find myself looking at the phone for new messages or Word games played or emails or sports updates time after time after time. I seriously will look at the phone and put it down for 30 seconds and then pick it up and look at it again. It's like a moth to the flame. It's mesmerizing and hypnotizing.
When a phone becomes so important that you're willing to risk your life and the lives of others around you to send and receive text messages while driving, well that's where it has to stop.
My girlfriend and I long ago made a deal that when we're at dinner we put our cellphones away and concentrate on each other. We've held to that. Now I am pledging to do the same behind the wheel.
Any phone call or text or goofy cartoon or Facebook or Living Social or Twitter update can wait a few minutes until you are safely stopped and out of traffic. The many people who have been injured in wrecks caused by driver distraction can tell you it's simply not worth it. And the people killed in these wrecks, often innocent victims of distracted drivers, will never have the chance to tell you it's stupid and senseless and needs to immediately change.
That's what I'm thinking.