What a stupid question, right?
“I just went to the grocery store.”
“I just visited my friend.”
People drive every day…or do they?
The way I see it, most people haven’t driven in 60 years.
Either I’m very old and have been living in Antarctica for decades, or I’m making a point (Hint: I’m using a computer)
Here’s the setting: It’s 1956 and the Morrey family are piling into their brand new Ford Fairlane Town Sedan. Surely they’re going to the park, to run errands, to visit relatives?
No; Frank Morrey rounded up the gang to go for a drive.
Twilight Zone episode?
Actually, I made this up, though I could have been describing a parent’s childhood memory.
Post-war Americans loved to express their freedom, and if they had the means, most enjoyed a drive and all it represented.
But this doesn’t happen anymore. Why?
The typical new-car buyer needs transportation from point A to point B. Cars just happen to be the most convenient method.
Recent reports have shown most new-car buyers are baby boomers or from generation X.
That’s because most gen. Y citizens are endlessly preoccupied and can’t spare the time or money on a vehicle. If they DO own a car, Americans beware.
Why is texting while driving such an issue? Because multitasking isn’t a trend, its an American reality.
Cars are safer today than ever before. Great, because they NEED to be. People young and old can’t focus on a one-on-one conversation for more than 5 minutes without being distracted, much less driving a vehicle for 20 minutes.
No one “drives” anymore; they MOVE from one location to another, magically, neither knowing or caring how they got there. They are on to the next thing.
Am I being hypocritical? Absolutely. I’m constantly distracted by technology.
Modern technology permits multiple tasks with partial attention. I readily embrace our innovations.
Everywhere except behind the wheel of a car.
In the driver’s seat there’s just man and the machine. I DRIVE because I can, not because I need to get somewhere.
Why am I an anomaly? Why don’t we DRIVE anymore?
Current vehicles are dynamically better that they were even 7 years ago. Driving is the right of passage for an American teenager. Driving is part of the American DNA.
Yet can we find freedom so many other places that driving doesn’t need to be another source?
Yet freedom doesn’t seem to be the issue. Rather people only seem to care about what something can DO for THEM.
The internet is the largest “global village” and most liberating resource today.
The web is open to Anyone with access to a computer.
What do cars do? They move you? “Wow,” says the American public.
The web is the link to everything; every bit of information; every friend; every story.
Guess What? 50 years ago, cars were like today’s internet.
A car brought you to potential stories. It created experiences. It was a driver of social connectivity.
People’s lives were intimately tied to their cars.
I’m obviously just arguing the internet is the new car, right?
Here’s how the two are interacting today:
The latest technology is bringing social connectivity to the car, making driving even less of an experience than presently. In a year, we’ll be able to update our facebook statuses and latest tweets by speaking to our cars.
This technology is fascinating and inspiring. Yet what does it mean for the “driving” action?
One of two things will happen:
1) no one will be driving in the future; not for the joy of it.
2) driving will find it’s niche carved even deeper.
I’d like to vote for option 2.
If we integrate multitasking into driving, Americans will push our innovative boundaries further. Heck, our DNA practically demands innovation.
So go for it, but let’s save Driving and all it represents.
Automobiles today are brilliant; they are safe, full of features, and offer performance characteristics that would be unimaginable for a 1950’s citizen.
So let’s ENJOY automobiles again.
Even if it’s just for 5% of your week; take a second to appreciate the amazing piece of technical mastery that has been doing American’s bidding for over a hundred years.
I’m not saying everyone needs to be an auto-enthusiast. In fact, cars wouldn’t be as special if that was the case.
No, I’m suggesting we preserve just ONE of the positive themes from America’s most inspiring age.
Appreciate our freedom and technical ability through our vehicles.
Enjoy the DRIVE for once.
You have 3 billion chores to do in your lifetime; don’t make driving one of them.
When’s the last time you DROVE?