Formerly SpringBlog

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Facebook and Cars Should Not Mix

My parents have spent the last week looking for a car, scoping out dealerships for one they like. They finally found one: the Chevy Cruze. It has all sorts of "bells and whistles" as my dad would say. However, there was one feature I was not fond of when my dad told me.

You can update your Facebook status while driving. Hands free!

Have we become a people so addicted to Facebook we cannot possibly wait to update our Facebook status until we reach our destination? Do we really want to endanger lives just so our friends know what we're doing this instant?

What really kills me about this whole thing is that it's hands free, like that makes everything better. It helps, don't get me wrong. Texting is dangerous because you're taking your eyes off the road, and I know people that update their Facebook status from their phones. By making it hands free, we are decreasing the risk by hopefully keeping our eyes on the road.

Studies have shown that driving while talking on the phone--hands free or otherwise--is still incredibly dangerous. You are concentrating on something other than driving. You run the risk of not seeing a car in front of you coming to a sudden stop or a kid dashing into the street.

When we are in the driver's seat, our attention should be on the road. We shouldn't be worried about what our friends just posted on Facebook or what that text says. Driving isn't safe enough to multitask like that. We know how deadly it is to drink and drive, so why do we ignore the danger of using technology and driving?

I don't want to come across as though I despise Facebook, because I don't. Facebook has kept me in touch with all my friends back home this past year. I love that I can jump on and see what my friends are up to. I just think there's a time and place for it and in the driver's seat is neither the time nor the place.


  1. I have to admit. When I first saw the commercial for this feature I thought it was a HUGE technological advancement for cars. Sure, the FaceBook app can be on any phone and Ipad...but a car? Its like OnStar for teens.
    But that's just the thing. This car feature seems to be aimed for a younger demographic with a short attention span. A demographic that tends to be in more accidents than their elders. So while people would argue a hands free FaceBook feature is no more different than the hands free dialing sync between a car and a cellphone, being able to update your status seems juvenile. In a time of crisis, is it more pertinent to call for help, or update your status and hope 911 has a FaceBook account and is online?

  2. Wow! I had no idea that they had such a device on cars nowadays! But I must admit that I do agree with both Holly and Ashley. First off, I think that Holly is correct in noting the dangers of such a device. This isn't an application on a phone, it's in a car; driving is dangerous. This means that drivers have the option of directing their attention to something other than the road. Personally, I have enough distraction while driving with the radio on or driving with another person in the car. This is a whole other distraction that companies are purposely installing. Moreover, who really NEEDS to change their status when driving? I don't really understand the purpose of this option because it seems so unnecessary. Like Ashley said, it's a pitch to gain the attention of the younger demographic. However, I just don't really understand the practicality of having it.

  3. Hopefully the development of these self driving cars that is out there will fix this problem, lol. What I think the problem here is marketing strategies. All auto companies are hurting, so what do you do? You put a popular thing like facebook into the mix and hope that it boosts your sales. Do I agree with it? Not at all. I just need to get from a to b. And really that is all anyone needs.

  4. I think this is just ridiculous. I agree fully with keeping in touch with your friends. I also commend car companies for adding hands-free options for drivers to stem the trend of texting/making phone calls while driving. But do we really need to be "on the grid" at all times, including in our vehicles? My stance on this is no. It is good to keep in touch with friends, but in the car, our focus should be on the the safety of ourselves and others. Granted the technology is hands-free, but it is still yet another distraction for the driver. Plus, how rude would it be as a passenger?
    "I am driving my car!"
    "Uh, I know...?"
    "No, not you, I was talking to FACEBOOK!"

  5. Frankly, idiots will be idiots, and ignorant people are ignorant. While I am intensely opposed to this whole idea of status updates on-the-go (either on the phone or built right into the car itself), this is technically safer than tapping a keypad and looking at a small screen while driving... Frankly, this could probably prevent a lot of accidents that said idiots and ignoramuses might otherwise cause.
    I recall a somewhat related story: I was in a car with my friend, who was driving, and he complained about the glare of the sun; I asked why he didn't pull down his visor, and he responded casually that "It's not the road, I can't see the screen on my phone." I have not ridden with him since.

    At any rate, though, at the heart of it is just money. If the legal costs and damages of a product or idea can be outweighed by the profits, you can rest assured that the corporate assclowns WILL sell it.

  6. What happened to just driving? I've always found it stress relieving. Driving gives me an opportunity to escape all the media outlets... even sometimes the radio is too much. But today driving means plugging in the ipods, turning on the dvd players, and avoiding interaction with the people you are riding with at all costs. I think it sucks.