It’s morning and I’m on my way to work. I’m stopped at traffic lights at one of the city’s busiest roundabouts. A car (mid size family saloon) pulls up behind me, driven by a professional looking young woman.
The lights are red and I expect them to turn green at any moment as this is a fast moving, busy junction that connects to the city’s outer ring road.
I can’t help but notice in my rear view river that the female driver now has taken out her phone and is in the process of taking selfie’s, gesturing and smiling to the camera in various ways.The light is still red, but I expect green at any moment. There’s a long line of cars behind and adjacent to us.
With the selfie’s taken, and holding the phone with both hands, the woman now taps away on the device which is now below her driving line of sight. Every couple of seconds she looks up and straight ahead, before looking back to her phone.
The lights turn green and I drive away.
The woman takes about two or three seconds longer to notice the traffic light change, and she then moves away, all the time remaining immediately behind me. We merge onto the main motorway ring road. She increases speed, overtakes me and drives forward on the motorway fast line.
As far as I could tell, she wasn’t tapping on her phone at this point.
So I thought:
- Was the selfie really worth it?
- Who was it for?
- What social network did she upload it to?
- Was she still driving when she uploaded it?
- How many likes & follows did she get as a result?
- Where will she take her next selfie?
- Will she notice that child, that cyclist, that pedestrian or that other car or lorry when she’s checking her social media apps?
It’s incredible how these “smart” devices have truly changed or fundamentally shaped the behavior of generations of modern people. The human brain literally can’t properly access the huge risks of using smartphones while driving, and is instead willing to trade meaningless social media feedback in exchange for creating life and death situations.
Where does it end?