Driven to Distraction

Today's New York Times printed an article called Drivers and Legislators Dismiss Cellphone Risks by Matt Richtel (whose last name sounds like the name of a cell phone company). MSN reprinted it this morning and included a video of a texting bus driver crashing into a line of stopped cars. The article is all about why drivers continue to use cell phones when they know it's distracting. Texting is distracting. Hands-free phoning is distracting. Cell phone conversations in general are distracting. And it's costing lives. When you're on the road, you're surrounded by other driver's who are inattentive time bombs, just waiting to kill you. Like drunk drivers. Anyway, the article says, "Why do people, knowing the risk, continue to talk while driving? The answer, they say, is partly the intense social pressures to stay in touch and always be available to friends and colleagues...They also show signs of addiction--to their gadgets." The article quotes John Ratey, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, who says "...the modern brain is being rewired to crave stimulation." It is what he calls "acquired attention deficit disorder" and says, "We need that constant pizzazz, the reward, the intensity." Matt Richtel's piece is apparently part of a series called Driven to Distraction. Just thought I'd share that.
Yvonne DeCarlo

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