Filed under: Preparation & Readiness, RVing & the Legal System, Safety on the Road, Technology & Camping
IS YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUDS?
The past two days had been rough on my aging body while fixing a problem with an ABS brake sensor on the Volvo HDT and replacing the blown A/C compressor on the GMC pickup. I was successful with both projects but they left me with sore muscles, painful hands and stiff joints that needed time to recover.
Anyway, as I was sitting in the kitchen eating my Pop Tarts and drinking my morning coffee, the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show was on the TV. It really caught my attention when I noticed that Kellie Pickler was the cohost with Hoda.
Now, if you don’t know who Kellie Pickler is you might as well quit reading. But, just in case you are interested, Kellie is a popular Country Music singer and former “American Idol” contestant. She is an extremely talented young woman that is apparently pretty doggone smart as well.
OK – I’m getting a little off track so let me get back to my rant.
Hoda and Kellie were introducing a segment on what may be happening to people’s memory entitled “Is Your Head in the Clouds? – How & why we’re over- relying on technology”.
Hoda started the segment with the question, “Do you remember back in the day when we actually had to remember someone’s phone number and we couldn’t hit speed dial on our cell phones?”
That was Kellie’s cue to respond with, “Not really – iPhones to e-mail we are outsourcing our memory expecting anything we need to know to be saved on-line.
WOW – I actually think this cute little 26 year old that wasn’t born until three years after the Apple Macintosh just hit the nail-on-the-head!
We don’t need to know anything except how to work the technology that brings us directly to an answer and as a result, we are losing the ability to rationalize.
OK – hold that thought a moment while I tell another story. I’ll bring this one and my next one together in just a few paragraphs.
I had to make a run to the auto parts store at the peak of going-home traffic this evening. As always, the streets were packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic.
A BIG thunderstorm was in the making and it was getting dark in a hurry. Amazingly, many of the vehicles we encountered had yet to turn on their headlights.
I began ranting to Nancy about how stupid it is to drive a vehicle under these conditions with no lights – it isn’t about their seeing the road, it is about me seeing them.
Then the rain began.
It was coming down in sheets and visibility quickly dropped to nearly zero.
Still, we kept encountering drivers that had not turned on their headlights. These unmarked vehicles would suddenly appear just inches from my left front bumper as giant fuzzy globs coming out of the dark – there was no warning of their approach. It was downright scary. Any one of them could easily end up in my front seat.
I practically screamed, “Can you imagine the probable consequences of two of these dark, fuzzy globs meeting each other head on?”
My rants continued, “How can anyone be so dumb as to drive in a pouring-down thunder storm with near zero visibility and no lights – or even windshield wipers on?”
The ominous glow of flashing blue lights at an approaching intersection confirmed my fears – thank goodness it turned out to only be a rear-ender and not a head-on collision.
That’s when Nancy said, “Maybe they expect the car’s computer or their smart phone to turn the lights on for them?”
Then it hit me. Just like the commentary on the morning TV show, we were encountering drivers that simply did not have the capacity to think about or realize that they needed to turn on the light switch. They are so dependent upon systems in their lives that require no decision making that they do not realize that they still have to activate headlights, turn signals, and windshield wipers themselves. (Yea, I know, some cars really do that for the driver.)
PLEASE FOLKS, DO NOT LET TECHNOLOGY TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR OWN BRAIN!
Do you think?
That’s just what I’m saying.
You can see a complete video of the 3/23/2012 Hoda-Pickler segment on NBC’s TODAY show here. - That is, providing the link does not expire
NOTE: Prof95 (Randy Agee) is a 30+ year veteran of volunteer Emergency Medical Services. During this time he has responded to hundreds of vehicle accidents where inattention to changing weather and light conditions resulted in unnecessary physical injury – often to innocent motorists. Safety on the road, whether in a standard vehicle or RV, is of utmost importance. Always be attentive and respond to darkness and rain by turning on your headlights and slowing down.
HAPPY (and safe) CAMPING TRAILS TO ALL!
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