The One Thing I Have No Patience For

I can tolerate a lot. I’m learning to get over it when I don’t get around to the nineteenth vacuum cleaning of the day. (C’s rice cake granules can suck it for all I care.) I’ve blocked out the ridiculousness that abounds on Facebook during election season by unsubscribing to people. I’m well on my way to letting it go if I don’t get to shower until 1PM, if at all.

But I do not, under any circumstance, have any patience whatsoever for people who text while they drive. I’m airing my grievances. Hold on, kiddos.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous, inane functions of the modern age. Not only do people insist on proliferating typos all over social media while they’re in the safety of their stationary homes, but they also feel as though their stupid messages must be transmitted while they are hurtling through space in their vehicles. I can’t even. People will risk their lives typing a message about Burger King to someone they will see 10 minutes later. And we wonder if our society is in trouble.

Let’s break this down.

Your car is one of the most expensive things you own. Even if it’s not a super nice car, it was a sizable investment, kind of like attending graduate school. Graduate school often only takes one or two years, and the investment is roughly on par with that of a moderately-priced used Toyota. I can speak to this because I’m paying off both. So basically, texting while driving is the rough equivalent of drinking heavily and not preparing at all before your degree-conference exams. You may be OK, but the risk of completely destroying your car / jeopardizing all your work is upped dramatically when you text and/or drink heavily the night before your exams. Both your car and your degree will be negatively affected by you typing LOL, LMFAO, OMW, and “Asses! That’s so cute!”*

*A real Autocorrect misstep I made. Just ask Becoming Cliche.

car

Maybe you are made of money and the expense of destroying your car in order to text a bunch of wrongly autocorrected garbage is no big thing. Texting while driving still remains the most dangerous thing I can wrap my head around. If you are so important that you have to text someone about your comings and goings while behind the wheel, then why are you driving yourself? If you were truly as useful to our society as your progressive opinions on Kelly Clarkson and LipSmackers suggest, you’d have a chauffeur. The president may put hits on people for all I know, but he’s never going to off anyone by driving in to them.

People in my town are always driving around and texting even though it’s been outlawed here. Lawmakers that they put in place have spent time authoring and passing legislation  that hopes to save them from their partially-evolved selves, and yet they still insist on texting, especially when they’re breezing through a 28 lane intersection whose light is out. The way thing works, too, is that these people will end up harming pedestrians and other law-abiding drivers before they damage their own car. If we’ve learned anything from the stats on drunk driving, it’s that the worst offenders are often the ones who come out unscathed.

I had intended to write a light post on how ridiculous it is that we have to beg people to refrain from texting while they’re driving, but I’ve worked myself into such a tizzy that I don’t want to mince words. If you habitually use your phone while you’re behind the wheel, get a grip on reality and realize that whatever earth-shattering message you need to send can wait. Make it a habit during the holiday season to quit texting so that we can all have a safer 2013.

****

christmas-badgeRemember that you have until Monday, Dec. 10 to get your Secret Santa presents in to Ashley and me at pressedivus@yahoo.com. Let me know if you write a Festivus post so I can share it on my Facebook page!

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97 comments

  1. Go get ‘em, Emily!
    Seriously, some people have little regard for the fact they’re operating what can easily become a rolling death machine in the wrong hands. As a dad, I share your concern. Great post!

    1. It’s really scary. I often take my daughter out in her stroller for walks and it truly boggles the mind how many people I see fooling with their phones in their cars.

  2. Le Clown · · Reply

    Emily,
    The Ringmistress and I have a tendency to let someone know in a passing car, if they text or talk on their phone, by giving them the finger, or calling them loser in their face. We make lots of friends this way…
    Le Clown

    1. Hey! I do that, too! I do it with everyone that shows loser behavior, though. The other day there was a car standing still right after a blind turn. Some 18-year-old was talking to his gangster-buddies on the sidewalk. A car had to step on the brakes, because he couldn’t see him early enough. I wished them a bunch of diseases and they drove off. Good time.

      1. If they have sex as wonderfully as they drive, then I bet those diseases have already set in.

    2. At least you call them like you see them. I don’t think I would want to be friends with people who are so flagrantly careless and reckless.

  3. As a bike commuter – THANK YOU …. I HATE phones to begin with, but using them when driving is insane and then TYPING SHIT when you’re ‘driving’ is even stupider…living with the fact that you killed someone b/c you needed to text and drive will ruin your life and the lives of everyone you affected with your self centered habits. I am a phone luddite, I know – I don’t text (I can live with the fact I’m uncool) BUT I never have my phone on in the car (or out of the car for that matter)…everyone was able to wait prior to cell phones, and they can continue to wait until I’m out of the car to talk to me. I HATE PHONES! HATE THEM! HATE THEM! HATE THEM!

    1. I am with you, completely. B and I have bare bones phones that we rarely use to actually talk to people and far less to text. One time I actually did see someone texting while they were cycling. It was pretty funny.

      1. people are bungholes sometimes… except us, obviously…

    2. I’m a biker too, and I’ve seen a couple of accidents, people texting and driving are bad, but equally bad are bikers with headphones on, it leaves you totally unaware of your surroundings.
      In here we have a bike lane, sometimes it merges with the road and when you mix a driver on the phone and a biker with headphones on, you have mess waiting to happen.

      1. Yes – driving & biking should be where you head is at all the time!

  4. Totally agree with you. When I get to the next stop light, I’ll tell you exactly how much.

    1. Hahaha, I know this joke was completely in bad taste, but it’s pretty genius!

      1. Yeah, bad taste. That’s me.

        1. I am no following you, good sir.

          1. Well, if that’s you, then turn off your blinker. It’s been on for the last seven blocks.

            1. I love your sense of humor, dude! You and I would make a great gay couple. Wait, did I just say that?

              1. Ande is the BEST. He writes a pretty awesome blog too. If you guys ever pair off, can I give one of you away at the wedding?

                1. You can give me away to someone else! I’m already tired of his beard and mustache…

                  1. Funny, I think my wife said the exact same thing the other day.

                2. You can give me away. Pretty sure I’d be the lady in this hookup, despite the copious facial hair.

              2. I get that a lot. I think I put a vibe out there or something.

                1. It’s your rapist glasses and beard. ;)

                  1. That makes sense.

    2. Just give the phone to Squatch. I’m sure he has a message for C anyhow.

      1. He can wait to have a phone till he’s three, like apparently every other kid in America.

  5. I totally agree and am angry too… But then you wrote the word ‘tizzy’ which cracked me up…! I also like tizzwozz. Getting into a tizzwozz might be one of my favourite phrases. Aside from that, I would like to say, UP WITH SAFETY, DOWN WITH TEXTING & DRIVING!

    1. Amen! Preach it! Tizzwozz sounds like a euphemism for genetalia. LOL.

      1. I never even noticed. Now I may use it in exactly that way. If I see a boy I like the look of, I might ask him to get his tizzwozz out!

  6. It’s really dangerous. I don’t even want to change my radio station while driving, or changing the setting of my heater or airconditioner. The author , Stephen King was hit by a care while the driver was changing her radio station.

    1. I’m the same! I get distracted so easily that when I was in college I pretty much drove around in silence so I wouldn’t run into anything.

  7. It is helpful to suggest your children chime in on the shaming people for texting. :) People really feel shitty when they are scolded by a child.

    1. That’s a good idea. Once C can talk, I will get her on that.

  8. Texting while in any kind of motion is dumb. Texting while piloting a tonne of speeding metal is a death wish. Either for yourself or the rest of humanity. Either way, dick head move.

    In other news, your addendum says I have until Dece,ber 10 to submit my secret Santa prezzie, but I was never contacted or paired up and now I’m sadpanicking.

    1. Dear Lord. I wish I could blame it on Yahoo, but it appears I am the yahoo in this case and didn’t email you. I blame in on the ADD. After you check your inbox, feel free to air your grievances against my unorganized brain. Sorry, Sara. (Take a couple extra days if you need to in emailing a gift in; the gift post won’t be up until Dec 14 so for you and you only I’ll extend the deadline to the 13th.)

      1. I just got your email, and I am VERY EXCITED by my recipient. This will be grand. thank you, The Waiting for my Email. xo

  9. It’s F-in nuts that people do this. How can a person be so arrogant to believe that he is able to text without causing accidents? It’s an ignorant, selfish society we live in. People never ask themselves the question how their actions might affect others. And in case of texting & driving, how their actions might kill another.

    Good post, Emily.

    1. I think it’s one of the many cases where people think that it could happen to someone else, but not them. It’s cell phone hubris. People can really be selfish, and it can be deadly.

  10. I feel you. There should be bill boards on highways with pictures of carnage of people who died because of texting while driving. Would the billboards cause more distraction — I don’t know — anymore distraction than half naked women for strip club ads, or half naked people in perfume and designer clothes ads. Would it work to make people see how crazy stupid it is to text and drive? Ah, well…

    1. I have actually seen billboards that say don’t text and drive, but they do so with so much text (like 150 words) that it would almost be as dangerous to read the sign as it would be to text. Facepalm.

  11. I was determined to document all the people I saw texting while driving. I was going to take a picture of them doing it. I then realized that might make me a little incapacitated as well. So instead I made a video to mock those who do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkqep99LklE

  12. A teenager newly out of driver’s ed should be installed in every car. It will cure the driver of any bad habits, or incite the driver to murder said teenager. It’s a toss up in our car most days. “Mom! You’re stopping too quickly.” “Mom! Give me the phone! I’ll answer it!” “Mom! The light is yellow!” “Mom! You’re five miles over the limit.”

    1. Word. My brother is 28 and he is still a hardcore backseat driver. But at least he wants to keep us safe.

  13. I share your tizzy. It’s scary to drive behind these people. Put down the phones, please! Great post.

    1. They often have a cigarette and three kids in the car too, which makes it even scarier.

  14. I will attest. It was the best typo ever. Ever.

    What terrifies me is seeing parents in the car line to pick up kids from school, and they’re sitting there texting. I am a pedestrian. My two sons are pedestrians. I have learned not to cross in the crosswalk until I see the whites of those drivers’ eyes. Otherwise, I have to assume that they don’t see us. Hello, people? Pick up time at school? Guess what’s out there walking around? KIDS! It’s not the time to be distracted! Hang up and DRIVE!

    Thank you. I am finished.

    1. I do the same thing. In order to get anywhere in my town, I have to drive thru at least 4 school zones, and it’s usually at dismissal or arrival so the speed limit is reduced. People behind me have had the audacity to honk because I’m going too slow. Insane.

  15. Amen and hallelujah. I couldn’t agree more.

    1. I bet you know what I’m talking about since you’re a runner!

      1. Hey girl, yeah, don’t get me started… I remember a fellow running blogger couldn’t understand how I could do my “long” runs in a park with a 2 mile loop. “Didn’t that get boring?!” Well when you consider the alternative, running in seclusion and getting assaulted or running in traffic and getting hit by a texter, no, running in the park does NOT get boring. :)

        Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now… Again, loved the post!

  16. I’m especially fond of those idiots with their pants around their knees and a skinny belt to hold them up that text as they bike (no helmet, of course). Really? I guess it’s too cool to stop and be eloquent, so you may stay in motion until Newton’s First Law takes good and forceful effect.

    1. Oooh I’ve never seen that before, but I can picture it. So dumb.

  17. I feel your passion on this one Em. While you completely cracked me up with your hippie mobile I was nodding my head through every sentence. Maybe it will get through people’s thick skulls what a serious criminal act texting while driving is. Love it when you air your grievances!

    1. Thanks, Kendra! I’m glad someone appreciated my lovely Microsoft paint photoshop work.

  18. BTW, love the new refreshed look of your blog!

    1. Thanks! The old one was feeling too summery to me.

  19. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve witnessed more accidents in the last few years than I think I have in my entire life. It’s scary. Let’s be honest, it’s not my age group, we can’t even text while sitting at a desk taking instructions on how to text. It’s mostly high school and College kids. When you consider that high school kids don’t even know how to drive it becomes seriously disturbing. I see them doing it all the time and I want to pull them out of the car, slap them, and make a citizens arrest.
    Now you’ve got me in a lather! I’d write, “lol” but it’s not funny.
    BTW, I LOVE your new blog look!!

    1. I agree with you that the flagrant texting misusage skews younger. Happily, I’ve heard that a much bigger deal is made in some drivers Ed courses about the dangers of using your cell while driving. I hope it sticks.

  20. Fortunately, those who text while driving are still one of the last groups we can mock and beat without having to worry about political correctness.
    I say we slash their tires and then let them text from their cars to their hearts desire.

    1. Agreed. We should hatch a plot to slash some tires. We will kind of be like Batman.

  21. Ooh nice header! You don’t mind other people putting THEMSELVES at danger so much but to know they could end up killing you just because they are doing something stupid is really scary. :(

    1. Thanks! Do you recognize the skyline in my new header? ;)

  22. Since I don’t have a car and my primary mode of transportation is the subway I just hope the train operator isn’t texting like the texting engineer that caused that horrific crash that killed 25 (including himself) in 2008:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chatsworth_train_collision

    I think texting while walking is also a hazard.

    1. Texting while walking! Yes, it is a hazard too! When I lived in Korea, women were CONSTANTLY walking in to me while they were texting. It was insane. One time one of my friends finally went off on someone for it.

      1. I just cannot believe that anything is that urgent that one cannot take fifteen seconds to step aside to get out of everyone’s way to do it. As for driving and texting [proceed to insert sarcasm here] this brilliant bon mot that will surely make the world an infinitely better place cannot wait to be communicated until after you’ve arrived at your destination? As “they” say on SNL’s Weekend Update, “Really?”

  23. I’m kind of horrible. I basically make my husband drive so I can go on my phone. Then if he goes on his phone for even two seconds I yell at him. I don’t type and drive though. Ever. I’d rather just send messages while I’m parked, especially from the gym. (Yes, it’s mostly just about avoiding the gym…)

    1. My husband and I have the same dynamic. I would never want him to use the phone while driving, but if I call him while he’s on his way home and he doesn’t answer, I berate him for not picking up the phone. Poor guy can’t win.

  24. Oh, and I do like your makeover, especially the new header photo! Admittedly, I was quietly in love with your old wallpaper.

    1. Thanks! I wanted something more wintry. I’ll probably bring the old one back in the spring.

  25. My dad got rear-ended by someone texting last week. STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID (I could go on).

    1. You should get El Guapo to go slash the offender’s tires.

  26. I have a sign in my car of me giving the finger, and a thought bubble that says, “STOP IT JACKASS!” It’s all-purpose, and really gets my point across when I flash it.

    1. It’s a lot better than the one I saw at the Walmart parking lot last weekend that said “If you’re going to ride my a$$ then you may as well eat it too.” I saw the person who owned the car and threw up in my mouth.

      1. WHAT?! Oh dear lord, that’s nasty.

  27. My Hubs literally can’t function while on the phone. He won’t even turn on the car, even with me and the kids waiting to turn on the AC in Texas heat. So him driving + phone activities? Just the idea of him multi-tasking the two is unheard of. As for me, I have an iPhone, and they make the keys inordinately hard to type without full attention, so it doesn’t happen. I’ve given people a hard time, and these are people I know. I’m doing my part from the inside.

    1. I think it comes down to pressuring people to get rid of this nasty habit. Legislation helps, but people with no common sense aren’t going to have it knocked in to them by a law. They have to be pressured by their peers. So thanks for pressuring!

  28. What if you have something really important to say though? Like say for instance you saw someone with THE SAME EXACT CAR as you. That’s pretty unique.

    Texting while moving is stupid, not just driving. I purposefully walk into people with their heads down texting sometimes because I want to teach them a lesson and I yearn for any human touch I can.

    1. In Korea people were super super bad about walking and texting and then colliding with others. Usually it was these really dumb girls who would wear 4 inch heels in the snow and still text and walk. I saw a few of them fall over. It was very gratifying.

  29. Amen, sister! Texting while driving is just insane.

  30. did you hear the awful story about the young rapper who tweeted out ‘yolo’ – ‘you only live once’ right before dying in a car crash. awful, awful, awful. i won’t even let wifesy look at her phone while driving or talk on it. it drives me crazy. completely. great post. xoxo, sm

    1. I didn’t hear about that, but that’s really sad. YOLO always makes me laugh. And think of frozen yogurt.

  31. Many things that enrage me involve driving. The road is a microcosm of society as a whole. There are jerks that don’t turn their headlights on (in the dark!) and there are the people that let you in when you are trying to merge on the highway. But if you stop at a four-way stop before me, that means you go first. You’re not doing anyone any favors by waving me on. :-)

    1. Driving is the worst, and I agree with you that it is a real microcosm for society. People do things behind the wheel that they wouldn’t do if others could actually see them. You can tell a lot about people by seeing how they treat servers at restaurants and how they drive.

  32. Dude, YES! I took the whole Oprah’s pledge thing when she took this issue on.
    I wrote a post once on multitasking and how PEOPLE CAN’T DO IT.
    So thank you. and I agree with you. And maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if these texting people were only hurting themselves, cuz Darwin and stuff, but they aren’t.
    The end.

    1. As a parent to a crawling disaster waiting to happen, I completely agree that multitasking cannot be done unless you are OK with everything being done half ass. When I see people driving around while texting and smoking and yelling at their 4.5 kids in the back seat, it makes me shudder.

  33. Do you know that you wrote this on the 20th anniversary or the first text message sent?

    1. I did not know that! Consciously, that is.

  34. Whenever I see people texting at the wheel, I want to make some sort of citizen’s arrest. At the very least, I want to take a photo of them texting, along with their license plate, and send it to the cops so they can send the offender a whopping ticket. Why can’t we do that? You know that when these people see police cars, they’ll behave themselves. So why can’t their fellow drivers/passengers be the eyes and ears for this sort of thing?

    And it really pisses me off that as you said, like drunk drivers, they generally remain unscathed while causing massive injuries to other people.

    1. Even if there isn’t an infrastructure in place for law enforcement to accept those kinds of tips, I like the idea of a “texter shaming” website where photos of these people could be posted. We should sick Anonymous on them.

  35. I hear ya girl it also really pisses me off and I have a daughter who does it and she knows how I feel about it what is sad or good or something is that she doesn’t make any mistakes when she does it that is how often she texts, she has a qwerty keypad which makes it easier but still you would think the girl would make some mistakes but no she doesn’t…………

  36. And now all our kids are growing up thinking it’s normal. I’m so sick of it, too. The other day I realized talking on the phone while driving seemed safe. That used to drive me crazy. But my perspective has shifted. That’s dangerous! I wonder if they’re starting to study how our brains are changing with all the social media addiction…

    1. I seem to recall that they have started studying it. If not, they really should! Last Christmas my husband and I were driving to our hometown and we stopped in a restaurant for lunch. At the table adjacent to us was a mom and her two college-aged daughters who were glued to their phones the entire time. The whole scenario was sad to me because she clearly wanted to talk to them but they were too preoccupied with their phones.

      1. We have a rule about no phones at the table… if someone uses their phone, they’re on dish-duty!

        1. I like your style :D

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