Have you ever had a bad habit that you’ve conditioned yourself out of doing?
I recently lost my headphones for a month among the chaos of my home, and I stopped running because of it. Running is monotonous for me, so listening to music is the only way I bear it. I could only imagine the toil of running without headphones. Every second feels like 10, and every step is under a microscopic lens in my head. The sound of my foot against the pavement somehow gets louder as I get farther, nagging me to just give up. I lose things often, so I couldn’t justify buying another set right away. However, without headphones, I was practically paralyzed.
I knew inside that this wasn’t really about running. No, this was about what comes without headphones. What if I don’t run as far? What if I can’t pace myself? It’s like being Daredevil where each of my senses are heightened except I lose physical strength. It was about my pride. If I run fewer miles, I’m not as strong as I think I am. The truth is that it was more about the fear of who I am versus whether a song was playing in the background.
During the last week of being headphone-less, a friend and I met at the gym, and she asked me to run with her. I responded yes without thinking twice about it. My mind froze in that moment. Why was saying yes such a breeze? The urge to use headphones had vanished. I had re-conditioned what I believed I was capable of. My brain had eliminated its “need” for music when running, because I got rid of the the gratification in music long enough for my brain to develop a new habit.
I imagine that this is the same cycle that texting and driving addicts will take to overcome their urge to pick up the phone. Think about when you’re driving in your car and you hear your phone go off or are slowing down for a light or stop sign. Do you reach for your phone? It wouldn’t be unusual if you did. The simple act of braking could be sending your brain a trigger to check your phone.
It’s not entirely your fault either. If people expect you to answer their texts, you don’t want to offend them or keep them waiting. It’s not that we mean to text and drive, it’s just that we trust ourselves enough that we will still make safe choices when we do. We especially trust ourselves more than we trust others to make a safe decision on the road. Do you think you’re a better driver than most others? Most others would say they’re better than you, too.
If our phone is beside us all day long when we aren’t driving, and we’re constantly checking for alerts and updates, then it won’t be any different on the road in our cars. There’s too much instant gratification that cell phones provide us, and our society has become dependent on that need to be consistently praised and gratified.
But why do we still do it? Why do we endanger ourselves and the drivers around us when we text and drive? We know the reason we do it is because our brain depends on feeling gratified, but the reason why we’re okay with doing it might be the same reason why some of us don’t recycle, or why if a person is in distress, we believe that another bystander will come to the rescue. We simply know that we can get away with it. We likely have already gotten away with it dozens, if not hundreds, of times.
Running with headphones isn’t bad, but being dependent on headphones, or most things, isn’t good. The reality is that texting and driving is a real problem that claims thousands of lives every year, and creates some of the most preventable accidents that our very own communities face. If you think putting down the phone is hard, you are not alone, but it’s very possible to overcome.
That’s where conditioning begins. Solutions like TextNinja provide simple and seamless ways to help us, especially younger folks, put down the phones and keep our eyes on the road. TextNinja allows us to be the hero in our daily lives by moving away from a destructive habit that we chemically don’t have full control over. A small action like using TextNinja not only affects our passengers; but every single car that we pass on the road is involved in the decision that we as drivers make. TextNinja paves an innovative path marker in the way we drive so that we don’t have to throw our phones in the trunk to prevent ourselves from accessing them. We are given a tool to condition our brain to make smarter decisions. Most of all, we empower ourselves in a fun atmosphere to be the hero in our story.
RT @SaveALifeTour1: Interesting read. Could you have guessed which generation is the biggest culprit for distracted driving? https://t.co…
about 2 months ago
RT @Safe_Roads: RT end_dd: RT PA4Justice: This morning PAJ member & co-founder of end_dd , Joel Feldman, gave a presentation to students at…
about 4 months ago
about 4 months ago
RT @FonvielleM: We are excited to sponsor the Tallahassee/Thomasville $5000 Safe Driving Scholarship @motovateapp @textninjahq https://t.co…
about 6 months ago
Does the person you love need a little 'motovation' to put down their phone while driving? #BeMine… https://t.co/QhlxL43Y9a
about 7 months ago