Texting

I text. How many of you have texted? Of those who have texted, how many have texted while driving a car? Or a truck? Semi? Train? Plane??

You don’t have to answer. But if you have ever texted while driving, you must know how difficult it is to find the right keys on your phone while keeping your eyes on the road. Perhaps difficult isn’t the right word. Impossible is probably more like it. Now, considering the difficulty of performing this otherwise simple task during one of the most attention-demanding undertakings that humans perform, why is it that people even attempt to compose and send text messages while driving a vehicle? If you have ever received a text message while driving, you must understand how difficult it is not to view and then respond to a received message.

Can you ignore the cute little toot of your phone when a text message arrives? Well, can you? How far can you drive after hearing that little toot before you pull your phone out and read the message? Or are you one of the goody two shoes that actually pulls off the road before doing anything at all with your cell phone? Either way, the text message demands attention. And you usually acquiesce to the demand.

Yes, I’m asking a lot of questions. We need to have some serious answers here.

I have an answer for the texting-while-driving epidemic. No, it doesn’t involve destroying all cell phones. It’s just a button on each cell phone that, when pressed, informs anyone and everyone who has just texted you that you cannot respond but will as soon as it is safe to do so. That’s all we need. One little button on the phone that’s easy to find and easy to push. I hear my phone toot (or tweet, or tinkle, or whatever, announcing a text message). I pick my phone up, find the busy response key with my finger and push it in. My buddy Joe, who has just sent me a report that he has successfully downed a six pack of Bud inside of 10 minutes, will see “SORRY BUT I’M DRIVING AND CANNOT RESPOND UNTIL IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.” Joe should just wait patiently until I deem it safe to respond. If he can’t, I’ll just blast him with the same message again and again till he leaves me alone.

I would feel much better if this key were made available. I wouldn’t have to type anything on the keypad. It would be so freakin easy. And it would allow me to safely and curteously reply to my buddies without killing me or dozens of others just to say “cool” when Joe reports his binge. This button should be available to anyone who wants it. I’d even pay an extra buck a month for such a thing. How about you? Could you use a button like that?

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