In December I took the AT&T It Can Wait 21 day challenge — a promise to not text and drive. In the video I talk about the challenges and how, like anything else, it gets easier with practice despite the serious addiction we have to our devices.
Sponsored post by AT&T. Addiction, challenges and stories are my own.
It is a promise to NOT use the phone in any way at all when driving. I took it because I know I have a problem, an addiction. That need to look at the phone any chance I get. And I know it’s dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. I don’t use it when literally driving (but I do do the occasional glance or try to make a call) but I do use it when I’m at a red light, or stopped in traffic. Either way, it’s beyond a bad habit — it’s a dangerous and life-threatening habit that I have been working on breaking and will do.
Even before AT&T approached me to make a change and tell my story, I’ve been putting my phone AWAY when in the car. In my bag or somewhere I can’t reach it. At first it’s terrible — my hand automatically goes for the phone when stopped proving further the addiction and mindless action of it all.
Years ago, there was a scene in the TV show “Parks and Recreation” where Aziz Ansari’s character was in a car accident due to texting and driving — but his response to that claim was “how dare you sir, I was tweeting…”
We have this need to always be informed, not missing a single thing — but the irony of our world of fast, easy, accessible communications and apps that help us on the go is that we are overstimulated and never truly disconnected. EVER. There is no down time. From the time we wake to the moment we go to sleep our faces are in front of a computer, phone, TV or tablet.
The car used to be a place to listen to music, talk to yourself, THINK and get to from point A to point B. Now it’s an extension of our office, our work, our online world and I personally need to disconnect and just be in the moment.
Another step I took was to turn on the “do not disturb” setting on my phone — but even so, I feel that using the AT&T Drive Mode app may the best option until the habit is dead and buried. The app turns on and disables calls, texts and alerts when your vehicle goes over 15 mph.
Yeah. This is what we have come to. We live in distracted times. And that’s okay — when it’s in the correct setting. But there is no place for it behind the wheel. I couldn’t not live with myself if I took someone’s life because I was responding to comments or checking an email. I could not.
Take the challenge. But more than that, commit to driving safe and undistracted for good because our lives and those of our loved ones depends on it.