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Diatribe: The Foolish Trend Of Taking Behind-The-Wheel “Selfies”.

11/08/2013

selfie3-300x0Have you ever heard a recording of your own voice and asked yourself “Do I really sound like that?!”  I’ve never understood why my voice sounds so much different when I hear myself speak than when I hear the same thing played back to me from a recording.  For many years I didn’t realize that this happens to everyone because of the way that sounds travel to our inner ear.  External sounds are heard differently than a combination of external and internal sounds like those heard when we speak.  It’s very interesting but I still don’t like it.

As much as I dislike hearing the sound of my own voice, I absolutely hate to have my picture taken.  Growing up, I was always the kid that tried to hide behind someone taller in group photos.  In college, I always volunteered to be the photographer at group events.  Even after college, I bought a really nice camera so I’d have an excuse to be behind the lens rather than in front.

Under no circumstances do I take photos of myself.  Certainly not while I’m driving!

Apparently, the abundance of smart phones in the hands of young drivers has inspired the alarming new trend of drivers taking self-portraits, or “selfies”, while they’re behind the wheel.  These people aren’t afraid to share the pictures that they take as Instagram shows almost 4,000 posts under the #drivingselfie hashtag, almost 2,000 for the plural #drivingselfies and almost 10,000 photos for #drivingtowork.  A search for “driving selfie” on Twitter turns up hundreds of images.

Not all the pictures that these drivers take are of themselves.  Some are of scenery along the roadside or of other passengers but all photos taken by drivers require the use of at least one hand to open a camera app, frame the shot and press the shutter (or potential self-destruct) button.

“Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour? That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger.” – Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

More than 3,300 deaths are reportedly caused by distracted driving every year and law enforcement and safety groups have been working hard to raise awareness about distracted driving with much of the focus as of late on texting behind the wheel.  Clearly, there are other distractions that need to be addressed.  In many states, cell phone use while driving, for any reason, is illegal unless a Bluetooth or other hands-free system is in use.

If only everyone on the highways disliked having their photo taken as much as I …

Do you take photos of yourself?

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7 Comments
  1. I always hated having my pic taken too. I didn’t like the attention or how I looked but I’m trying to change that. By accepting and wanting to have my pic taken, I look better in the photos because I trying (posing) and just relaxing and enjoying the moment. I’m more committed to being in pics – selfies included (but not when driving) after realizing that the last pic I had taken with my mom before she died was over ten years ago.

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  2. What is the point of a selfie? Driving or otherwise. It’s just ridiculous. A picture of me in a mirror, mew with a cat, me in my car, taken while by myself, is just sad. It screams, “Look at me I’m all alone.”

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  3. Try as we might, we cannot outlaw stupidity. The driving selfie would be the one who would be surprised if he or she ran off the road or hit the vehicle in front of them. It is not my fault, the driving selfie would say. He or she would be wrong.

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  4. I only “occasionally” take a selfie. And it’s usually in order to get laid. And I NEVER do ‘duck face’.

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  5. We have some pretty strong distracted driving laws in Alberta, yet I still see people using their cell phones behind the wheel. I guess it’s just a matter of catching them!

    Like

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