Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: "Sounds good. Will do."

Posted April 17, 2011

When texting and emailing while driving became illegal in North Carolina, I was actually relieved. It meant that I was free to ignore the vibration of my phone in my cup holder next to me until I got to my destination.

Clearly, this was already a common sense rule that we should have been following all along, but it was just too tempting to respond to every benign thing from deals at Pottery Barn to notes about the potluck at my daughter's school.

Still, people at work expect immediate responses from you when they know you have a BlackBerry, especially in the exact hour of the morning that you happen to be driving carpool. So, I have figured out a way around this dilemma. My 11-year-old has become my personal assistant.

She reads and responds to my emails while I drive. I dictate the responses, of course, and she happily types them in for me. Because she doesn't have a phone of her own, she considers this exercise "practice" for when she gets her own phone "someday." She is not as adept at typing on a small keyboard as I am, so I try to keep the responses simply. If the message is not that important, I instruct her to skip it, or delete it. I came up with the idea after my husband asked me to do the same thing on long car trips where I forbid him to touch his phone.

Clearly, there is always a slight danger of someone sending me an email with inappropriate content, but this is no more dangerous than one of my colleagues using colorful language on the Blue Tooth speaker phone as I drive to work with a carload full of children.

These days, technology seems to find us wherever we are. We have a choice to respond to the messages or simply ignore them. Or, in my case, have my adolescent assistant tell you, "Sounds good. Will do."

Amanda is the mom of two, reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.

7 Comments

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  • howdiditgettothis Apr 18, 2011

    turkeydance - do you realize how self absorbed you sound?

    Please. I do believe you are NOT the ONLY person in the world faced with an issue of response/time restraints. Even IF you are a world renowned neurosurgeon, you can pre-program any voicemail or email with a message such as 'i am in transit & will return your call/message as soon as possible.'

    There is nothing to prohibit you from pulling over on the side of the road, or off the road for that matter.

    NO ONE needs to be texting (or even talking) while driving.

  • Glass Half Full Apr 18, 2011

    My daughter does the same thing for me!

  • letscare Apr 18, 2011

    superman: Talking/texting on the phone while driving is definitely a problem that I hope can/will be curtailed in the future. But, to bash cell phones in general? And those who own them? GEEZ, what did you have for breakfast????

  • superman Apr 18, 2011

    I suggest they legalize drunk driving and outlaw the use of cell phones in cars. I rather have the few dozen drunk drivers on the road than the thousands of people on their cell phones. Have you ever noticed the large numbers of people who are on their phones while driving. I am probably one of a few adults who do not find it necessary to own a cell phone. I have had several cell phones but always just cancelled the phone cause I just didnt use it. Phones just seem to make the owners feel important and essential. I think it is just a psychological crutch for people and their ego. If you get a lot of text messages-- do you have any idea how they got your number? They cant text you unless you give them your number. What about blocking those calls? Final thought-- you just like to feel important and get all those phone calls.

  • r u crazy too Apr 18, 2011

    turkeydance: Maybe you should talk to your supervisor, or pull off to the side of the road and stop? If you have a wreck or cause a wreck, you won't be responding to your "emergency" text.

  • Ilovemyboys Apr 17, 2011

    @turkeydance - how about "or punch while on the Beltline and..." accidentally hit another car and NOT "live to eat another day"? Or the person you hit not "live to eat another day"? Maybe you need to take responsibility and determine a solution that won't require putting other lives in danger.

  • turkeydance Apr 17, 2011

    for those without 'personal assistants'....
    my job requires 24/7 access (medical) unless
    i have the approved personal or vacation time.
    i must (or get fired) respond within time
    constraints designated beforehand. at least once,
    i have been on the way to a call and received another
    emergency text. NOW WHAT? don't text and lose my job? or punch while on the Beltline and live to eat another day? no...voice will NOT do. ONLY text...some esoteric rules. Tech Requires Us to Respond to Keep Our Jobs regardless of the road we're on.