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I Will Not Be Distracted

by Team Sony 10/02/2009

I am finished with texting, calling, tweeting.. all of it, at least while I’m driving.

From this day forward I am hanging up and tuning in to Today.

I’m thrilled to get a stylish, multimedia enabled phone from the Sony Ericsson lineup since I use my mobile phone all the time. Not just to talk (that’s actually an afterthought). I use it to text, Tweet, update Facebook, share photos and post video all over the web. As you can imagine, I need a phone that can keep up. 

My new team here at Sony is getting used to my constant connectivity and it’s with this in mind  the blog moderator, Dave made a comment to me that really struck a nerve. 

He asked me if I texted while driving. We’ve both been following the news  this week showing the number of accidents causes by distracted drivers. Nearly 6,0000  people died last year in the U.S. and about a half-million were injured on American roads because someone operating a vehicle was busy doing something other than keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. The numbers are so bad that the Obama administration has signed an executive order banning government employees from texting while driving. It’s already the law here in California and a few other states. But, law or not, it’s so tempting to have phone in hand while driving from point A to point B.

However the idea of hurting others or myself while doing this, makes my heart sink. With this in mind, I’m making an important change in my life and kicking another bad habit to the curb. I will not be available by phone, from this day forward, while behind the wheel. I also vow not to text, Tweet or take pictures while I am behind the wheel. I am a wired girl, but when I’m driving I promise not to let technology distract my driving. I know hands-free and Bluetooth devices are great for most people. For me, I’m going to conduct phone free commutes. 

So, why am I blogging about this here in the Sony Electronics Community? Well, since becoming a blogger I’ve discovered online communities are powerful. I’ve experienced first hand a global group of friends supporting me in goals, helping me through challenges in life and celebrating accomplishments. This is a new challenge for me and maybe, just maybe, it’s right for you.  

Who wants to join me? 

 

 

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  1. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 11:48am

    Hi Sukhjit. Congratulations. Great points. Thanks for setting an example for all the young mobile warriors out there.

    Reply
  2. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 12:05pm

    Sukhjit, bravo! I applaud your vow and your commentary. It’s the right thing to do.

    As a recognized leader in the connected/multimedia/socialmedia space, you have *huge* powers of influence over thousands & thousands of people.

    -Jeff
    p.s. Of course, now that that distraction is taken care of, you only have to deal with Mother Nature’s distractions in San Diego – the blue sky, Pacific Ocean breezes, beaches, sun, etc. ;-)

    Reply
  3. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 1:05pm

    I remember when i was driving to LA i recordedonce time a video with my Vado HD when i gone in front of Google.
    But in USA you have automatic gearbox, Here it’s impossible with a manual gearbox. Use the phone when we’re driving is so dangerous. I never use it, specially to call. I prefer use a BT Headset ;-)
    Take care.

    Reply
  4. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 2:43pm

    I will also pledge not to use my phone while driving …did a quick google and the numbers are down right scary …you might as well be drunk behind the wheel

    thanks sukhjit for bring this to everyone’s attention

    Reply
  5. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 8:31pm

    @Alozo Torres – Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I hope the numbers come down, especially as people become more aware. Now that I commute as much as I do, I’ve realized how challenging it is to unplug when you’re sitting in the car.. but really, the most basic thing you can do to be a good driver is to be aware and present so, that is what I’m going to try and do. –sukhjit

    @Masa Nice to see a message from you here! Yeah, it is so tempting to use the camera or phone when driving. Especially if you want to capture something cool… but I think what I’ll do if that happens is pull over and take the picture then. Safety first! So when were you in the US? -sukhjit

    @Bundini Thank you for your kind words! I don’t know if there are any huge powers at play, what I do know is that once I say something out loud to other people, then I’ve really made the commitment. On top of that, I am stronger with the support I get from friends. You remember when I gave up coffee, right? Other people joined in.. some even went as far as giving up smoking! That to me was powerful! As always, great to see a message from you Jeff. AND you were right about San Diego. It really is a great town. -sukhjit

    Reply
  6. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 8:58pm

    @Steve Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate that very much… especially on a topic like this. It’s nice to see that other voices here showing support. Although I’m here on the Sony Community blog, this is really a personal decision. I already know when I’m tempted while driving to reach for the phone to do something simple and quick that takes no effort… I’ll remember that I made this promise and friends are watching. Thank you again for stopping by! –sukhjit

    Reply
  7. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 9:27pm

    Way to go! You probably remember that I had posted a terrifying video from a British campaign about texting and driving and accidents that ensued from distraction.

    I am particularly advocating for “abstinence” in that matter, because I know that it is especially young drivers that are the culprits of such distraction, because they are more prone to being more in a culture of “zapping” than older people like me.

    I don’t have a phone, and I am so glad I don’t when I see that you have to give up some of the bad habits that they have induced in the last decades. You are the bravest and most honest person ever and you are a real role model. Driving is the time in my hectic life when I actually can do one thing at a time, and it’s a blessing! It keeps me sane, healthy and… alive :-)

    Enjoy a zen life.
    You will enjoy you beautiful cool phone when you arrive at destination, and will feel rightly proud of yourself!

    Reply
  8. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 9:30pm

    I like taking lots of pictures with my cam. 3.2 megapixel camera sounds appealing to me plus the key pad for texting/twittering.

    P.S. @sukhjit miss ya in SF.

    take care,
    @andr8a

    Reply
  9. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 9:30pm

    Sukhjit, you make great points here and frankly I can wait to chat with you until you exit the car for your safety and the safety of others. However, it is an interesting discussion, because texting in the legal community would be called an ‘Attractive Nuisance’ With all of the public outreach about the horrible accidents and lives that have been lost…I wonder if people will really change. This is especially true in the teenage community where their driving skills are often not as good. This is a real Public service announcement and I applaud you for being “Unavailable”

    -Keith

    Reply
  10. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 10:29pm

    Not texting while driving should be a no-brainer just like keeping your eyes open while driving. Been wired & texting for years. Never once felt the “urge” or the “need” to text someone while driving. Applying common sense should not be that big a deal, IMO. Peace :)

    Reply
  11. guest_user wrote: October 3, 2009 11:28pm

    Awesome new phone! YAY! I too, have made myself choice a few years ago. Your making a wise choice.

    Reply
  12. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 6:08am

    thats a great phone! we must always focus on the road while we drive even if we possess a tempting smart phone like the sony xperia. safety first! =)

    Reply
  13. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 2:38pm

    if you ever decide to embrace handsfree/Bluetooth you can tweet, email, SMS, facebook, blog etc. all with the power of your voice using http://www.jott.com.

    Reply
  14. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 2:44pm

    Yay! Awesome post sukhjit!!!

    Reply
  15. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 8:31pm

    @otir Hello and thank you for leaving a comment on this blog post. I have to admit that I struggled a little with this post and not because I use my phone in the car all the time. Since the laws changed in California I stopped talking with the phone up to me ear in the car, but I did keep it nearby and sometimes check texts or compose a tweet while at a stop or snap a video or picture while en route to somewhere.. notice the types of things I did become slightly more attention consuming as the list grows. That’s why after I heard the numbers last week, it was a given that I had to just make a break from the phone. My commute is 1 hour a day now. And the roads here in San Diego are FAST. Very different than driving in the Northern part of the state or in San Francisco. So, it’s not a brave thing I’m doing it’s …. well… “it’s about time” thing! You, Alan C and theStickman have all commented that you are not distracted by mobile device while driving. I’m glad to say that I will be part of that group too. =) –sukhjit

    Reply
  16. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 8:45pm

    @keithburtis Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on my post. You and Otir make a similar point… that texting while driving is more a problem of “younger” drivers. That may be true, I’m not sure what the breakdown is, what I do know is I can be responsible for my part. There has been a lot of press about this recently, and I’m glad to see the media used to raise awareness on an issue like this. Again, this is a personal decision I’m making and I don’t expect everyone to drop their phones completely in the car.. I just know it’s something I want to do… and I benefit from community support when i put things out to the blog-o-sphere. I also look forward to talking with you more. Again, it’s always nice to see a comment from you! Now you know you can find me both on sukhjit.me and also sonyelectronicscommunity.com =) –sukhjit

    Reply
  17. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 9:02pm

    I’m with you on this one. I heard a news story about this very same thing and I immediately stopped messing with my electronics in the car. I, too, have been guilty of texting, sending a short e-mail, trying to look at a map on the phone, etc. but no more. The only thing I still do is talk on the phone because my car has a hands free system built in. When I’m taking on the phone, it is just like talking with a passenger (which technically would still be a distraction). You have my full support in your less distracted journey :)

    Reply
  18. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 9:10pm

    @TheStickman You have a good point. Staying focused on the road should be a no brainer. For someone like you, and a few others that have left comments here, that’s the way it is. I’d like to think I am a pretty responsible person. My use of the phone while behind the wheel has been minimal, especially since the laws have changed in California. I’m taking this opportunity to cut it completely out .. the recent numbers inspired me to do that. We all have our various vices, and different degrees of them. Glad to hear driving and texting isn’t one of yours. –sukhjit

    Reply
  19. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 9:20pm

    @vignes @alan c @andr8a Thanks for the props on the phone. It’s sweet. I’ll tell you more about it as I get use to it. It is definitely sleek. AND YES, Andr8a, I do miss San Francisco. I’m enjoying San Diego very much and I am happy to be working at Sony, but my heart is in SF. Without a doubt, my social media community has kept me company while I’ve made the transition. I think that has been a huge help. –Sukhjit

    Reply
  20. guest_user wrote: October 4, 2009 9:35pm

    @Matt Klein, thanks for leaving the note about http://jott.com on the blog here. I think it’s a great tool for people to know about if they’re using bluetooth. I’m just reading up on their site now. If I do end up using a bluetooth device, I’ll want something like this. Hope you are well, and thanks again for noting that here. Glad I’ve got my Bay Area peeps to keep me in the loop about things like this! Don’t forget me! –sukhjit

    Reply
  21. guest_user wrote: October 5, 2009 12:15am

    I’ve never been able to talk while driving, and those hands-free thingys always wig me out. I just don’t do the two at the same time. But texting and checking email while driving, that, I just don’t understand. Can’t people wait until they’re no longer in traffic? Or pull over somewhere if it’s urgent? My opinion, but taking your eyes off the road while you’re in motion is a dangerous game. I see too many people here in LA do it, and when I do, I just try to give the person in that car a little more space, just in case.

    Reply
  22. guest_user wrote: October 5, 2009 1:07pm

    Hello Sukhjit! What an awesome job you have here, huh? (Makes me wonder if I should have beat the Treo drum a little harder…) To the subject of your post:

    Texting while driving is now, just like drinking while driving. We all are aware of the dangers, and should adopt a zero-tolerance policy.
    Should.

    Driving Under the Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, and open containers in the motor-vehicle are all violations nationwide. But, what’s the real story on drinking and driving? Do we practice zero-tolerance?
    No.

    We make judgment calls based on how much we ate, how much we drank, how far from home we are, how dark it is…you get the idea. A dozen or more qualifiers are used every day by millions of drivers that undermine all the laws, and fly in the face of the statistics. Here’s where it gets really unsettling: Save for the relatively small percentage of alcoholics that (in their minds) need to drink, driving after drinking is a choice, usually made purely for enjoyment. But, exchanging short text messages for many of us, is actually quite necessary.

    I’m a fairly busy guy these days, but I have a day job with a regular shift that does not require me to travel. My son is 9 and isn’t yet involved in an activity that requires me to hop across town to transport or see him. Think of all the people that do, for very responsible and constructive reasons, send and receive messages while driving. Add to that the main purpose to mobile communication in the first place: to get and give information between destinations.

    I’m not cross-talking your decision to abstain, but I fear its far too novel for the relevant majority. I don’t own a car personally, but my fianceĆ© does. When driving her car I consider myself accessible by phone. Sometimes its as basic as my destination being changed since I left, i.e. meeting able-bodied individuals. I could write a short novel on all the situations where someone in a city like Chicago benefits from info between destinations. The greater the distance traveled, the more premium intra-journey info becomes.

    I believe the solution lies ahead in partnerships between mobile carriers, manufacturers, and auto makers. A far-flung solution could be the option to obtain a special license after receiving specific training. Managing multiple streams of data at road speeds in a passenger vehicle is well within the computational parameters of the brain. I understand however, this is not an option for 100% of the driving population. On a final note, texting is simply the newest distraction to a driver, added to a list that’s been growing, arguably, since the Model T.

    Reply

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