I'm not one to put value on what the 'stars'…
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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