a safe-driving initiative focused on drive-time radio

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Dangerous Pictures!

Great photography is one of my interests.  Just a few words in a search engine can take me to amazing images that I would otherwise never have the chance to see- from stark landscapes of Scandinavian winters or lush and humid jungles along the Amazon.  And portraits.  Ah, portraits…

The raw and captivating black and white pictures of Dorothea Lange’s Immigrant series are spellbinding.  Her close and intimate portraits reveal the reality of brutal times in the depression, each picture telling a deep and compelling story. 

But… then… there’s the flip side, the anti-art portrait photography that is such a prevalent trend among smart phone users…and this I could do without forever and ever and EVER.  The SELFIE!  Aargh!  Ick!  Bored.

Years ago the first SELFIES seemed sort of cute, innocent even.  They conveyed a sense of immediacy that made us feel “of the moment” with each other.  But, the reality is that each picture is essentially just like the last one (maybe a different tilt of the head) and some of our “friends” became addicted to the practice of sending multiple shots a day.  The occasional SELFIE is not what throws me, it’s the constant publication of what is essentially a mug shot, taken at arm’s length by the mug him/herself.

Social media has provided the perfect ocean where swells a continual tidal wave of me-me-me pictures, commemorating every single second of an individual’s life.  “Here I am watching T.V., here I am at a party, me with my dog, me with my goldfish, with my dinner, at the movies, getting ready for bed.”  Is this obsession vanity-run-amok or neurotic insecurity?  I can’t tell.

What started as a rather harmless activity has crossed into the realm of the completely inappropriate.  BBC News Magazine online posted an article in October of 2013 about the growing phenomenon of taking pictures at serious places or on somber occasions, including funerals. 

And finally, the SELFIE trend has now become, not just wildly inappropriate but out-and-out dangerous –THE SELFIE WHILE DRIVING!  Teen drivers are among the greatest offenders but certainly not the only ones going out of their way to put everyone at risk.

The everyday, commonplace activity of driving a vehicle is fraught with dangerous possibilities: bad weather, blowouts, road rage.  Safe Driving is serious and steering clear of car accidents ever challenging.  That we’ve added one more totally ludicrous, toxic component to the mix is insane. 

If you know someone with the habit, do what you can to influence them away from yet one more picture that nobody “is dying to see.”

 And if you are the chronic SELFIE taker, come on, no matter how adorable you think you are — don’t take a SELFIE while you’re driving.  It wouldn’t catch you at your best…it would, in all honesty, be a picture of stupidity.  And quite possibly the last picture you will ever take!