Will that Twitpic from the driver’s seat matter tomorrow?

Will that Twitpic from the driver’s seat matter tomorrow?

Social networking has become interwoven in our lives. We share our personal and work experiences through Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis. Nothing seems to be too small or too big to share with friends and colleagues. And the tweets don’t stop once we step away from our computers. We have a smartphone to keep us from skipping a beat when on-the-go. So, where do we draw the line of appropriateness for social networking?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to share that exotic car that just passed me by on the highway or that funny license plate just as much as the next car gal. But I choose to resist the urge.

The momentary satisfaction that I might achieve with a ‘like’ or a ‘retweet’ for a clever photo or post while I’m driving doesn’t cancel the risk that I’d be taking behind the wheel.

For more than a year now, I’ve been encouraging friends, readers, and those in the car community to focus on the drive through my Distraction Free Fridays campaign. Yet I still see photos from the driver’s seat via tweets and Facebook posts in my news feed.

What can I say to convince others that the potentially permanent risk is not worth the fleeting reward? 

Will you even care about the RT’s or @ mentions you garnered for that photo in an hour, a day, or next week?

It’s not likely.

Curbing our addiction to social media and staying connected with friends no matter where we are is not an easy task. It’s best achieved in small steps. Here are three ways you work toward saying no to the urge to tweet and take photos from behind the wheel:

  • Think twice. Pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Do I really need to share this right now? What value will it add to my life or my friends’ lives?”
  • Analyze the situation. Think, “Can I really take this picture safely?” If you’re driving down the highway at 65 mph then the answer is no. If you have a passenger beside you who wants to snap a pic or answer a text for you, then that’s a better option.
  • Resist the urge. There’s evidence that indicate teenagers get a quick Dopamine response when their phones ‘ping’ to indicate someone has texted them. Of course there are times I think about how great it would be to take a photo of something awesome I see on the road, but then I remember that it’s not really that important. Evaluate the situation reasonably and make the smart decision.

These three-steps should help you pause long enough to get over feeling like you need to share on social media immediately. Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to avoid driving distracted? Please share them in the comments below.

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This article was written by

Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. T.Marc Jones at 11:41 AM

    I don’t think the RT or @ reply will matter at all. I understand the desire to share one’s experiences; yet it is key to consider the costs of doing so.

    To take the concept further; as someone who is actively promoting his brand online, there are other things to share which have a much greater and lasting impact.

  2. DCAutoGeek at 2:20 PM

    At some point I do hope we, the entire automotive community to include regulators, will look at distracted driving with the ever-so-popular technology blinders removed.

    Is snapping a photo more distracting than staring at a cute girl jogging? A baby screaming in the back seat? Or an accident on the side of the road? They all test our will power to look away from the road. I have to admit that I find myself disappointed when the media and lawmakers alike look at distracted driving and want to point blame at technology.

    If anything tech will be the saving grace. Things like crash avoidance systems and rear warning systems are taking the place of what is nothing more than a lack of attention by drivers. People drive distracted everyday and their phone is no where near them.

    Until we accept that fact and move forward we are kidding ourselves to think that tweeting is our biggest challenge.