Monday, January 27, 2014

Oh, and if you think about it, please try to avoid running me over, dickwad



Remember when car commercials used to focus on things like gas mileage, warranties, leg room, and safety?  You know, things that actually had something to do with driving a freaking car?

Nowadays it seems like more and more car ads concentrate on letting you know that you can continue to blather away to family, friends, coworkers and the boss who never ever stops cracking the whip even after you are allegedly off hours while in your tripped-out techmobile.  Why hold off being distracted by phone conversations while cruising around?  Look how easy it is to pretend to pay attention to traffic and pedestrians while you babble aimlessly and scroll your fingers along a screen.

Now hold on a second, John!  I'm quite certain that these cars come with disclaimers to keep your eyes on the road while the car is in motion!  Uh huh, yeah, I'm sure, too.  And I'm also sure that every single person who buys one of these cars is going to be spending more time staring at that screen (it IS a screen, isn't it?  Well, you have a screen but you aren't supposed to actually look at it?  How are you going to touch the right icon on that screen if you don't look at it- and if you don't have 20/20 eyesight, how much time is it going to take you to find the right one?) than making sure they aren't sideswiping someone who is just trying to get home (while yakking away on their phones, no doubt.)

I've seen ads like this which show people scrolling down to Facebook.  No fucking kidding- Facebook.  Because it's super-important that you update your status while cruising around in your LookAtMeMobile- far more important than checking your blind spot (hell, there's special alarm for that, right?) or to see if someone with a blaze orange backpack is trying to cross the street in front of you.  Jerkwad.

It's almost impossible for me to believe that a few short years ago, people used to actually get into their cars and have absolutely no contact with the outside world beyond the radio for the entire time they were traveling.  Now I rarely see people operating motor vehicles who AREN'T chatting away on their phones (at best) or staring (not glancing) at a screen propped up against the steering wheel (at worst.)

Is this any better?  Several scrollable screens, a dozen different media offerings, and basically a plethora of  gadgets offering distractions all at the same time?  Here, listen to music.  Here, call your mom.  Here, check Facebook.  We strongly suggest that every few seconds, you glance up and notice that your car has moved three hundred yards while you were flipping through your options for the 86th time since you left your house nine minutes ago.  Just because you could.

Here's a better idea- keep your mind and eyes on the fucking road and stop pretending that you are so damned important that you can't possibly be out of touch for even a moment while you are in your car, Mr. Essential Person.   This pedestrian will thank you for it, and it might even be good for your soul to just say "no" to these stupid, dangerous bells and whistles for once.

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