I was compensated for this post but I only write about things I like or care about, and this topic, paid or not, is deeply important to me.
When the opportunity came along for us to work on the AT&T #ItCanWait campaign, an initiative created to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, I was eager to get started. Whenever I've been in a car with anyone using their phone while driving, I always say something. I've been called uptight and accused of being too worried. Drivers have even bragged about their sterile driving record and told me nothing would happen. When the dangers of texting and driving are proven to be even more fatal than drinking and driving, it really doesn't matter if you are driver of the year. If you're on the road, your eyes and attention should be focused on that. There is nothing urgent happening online and there is no text that cannot wait until you are out of your car. What happened to the days of listening to music while driving? Why have we become so obsessed with our phones that we're putting ourselves and others in danger?
Before I sound like I'm preaching, I will admit I was guilty of it myself. And I will admit that this smart phone culture we live in is undeniably addictive. Although I've never used my phone while in motion, I've used it at a red light. My dumbest move to date was texting at a red light in the middle of Times Square. Something was due to a client ASAP and I was stuck in traffic. Well, as I was "urgently" trying to get something done, I didn't see that the light had changed. But a native New Yorker (love them for their honestly) standing at the corner saw the whole thing and brought it to my attention, and the attention of everyone in the area when he proceeded to yell at me. He threw in a ton of profanity and my New York inner self was trying her best to stay shut. Bottom line -- he was right. F-bombs and all. I was being irresponsible. Period. And guess what? The client got what was owed to them the next day and everything worked out just fine.
Part of the campaign included blog posts in support of #ItCanWait. Latina Bloggers Connect and AT&T also hosted a bowling event for bloggers in the Los Angeles area. It was a fun evening with a powerful message that was shared via Twitter and Instagram. Every single person we can reach and encourage to take the pledge to stop texting and driving, we save lives. That simple. If you'd like to join the cause, please take the pledge to not text and drive (yes, that includes red lights!). And if you're still not convinced, please take a moment to watch this powerful video.