Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hands-free Silliness

Well, those of us in California have now been under the new hands-free driving law for over 24 hours. This is a nice reference from the DMV about the law. While I completely support the use of hands-free devices (I've been using them since I had my first cell phone), I really think it's a silly law overall.

Okay, I might be overstating my position a bit, but this law frustrates me because it shows the focus on superficial fixes to situations. Yes, driving while talking causes accidents, but forcing someone to use a hands-free device won't stop the accidents. Further, this law does not outlaw texting or other uses of a cell phone. You can stare at your phone and use both hands to text, ignoring the road completely, but if you hold your phone to your ear while watching the road, you're in violation of the law. I'm not understanding that.

Further, I think cell phones are not the biggest distractions. Ever ridden with a bunch of kids (or teenagers)? Gasp. Ever sung showtunes at the top of your lungs as you're driving down the road? You are transported to another place entirely. And that's not even talking about food. Two girls from my hometown died when one choked while eating and driving...

Try and outlaw any of these. We're too comfortable with them. We like them too much. But something new, well, that we can blame the problems on.

We do that a lot in society. We go for the quick fix, but it's too often a band-aid, not a true solution. This is like my comments on throwing money at social problems. We do something to make ourselves feel better, but it's really not doing much.

And we cannot scapegoat technology. It may augment or show us problems in a new way, but they are deeper problems than just the technology.

The Church needs to remember this, too, because churches often either over embrace or over reject technology just because it's technology. Now, I love technology, but technology for technology's sake ain't good. We need to find purpose and meaning in what we do. Let's look at our problems, the width and depth of the problems, not just the symptoms and examine what we can do at a soul change level, not a behavior change level...

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