Technology is the great enabler of narcissism – everything you need to be able to promote yourself is available as an app and the latest apps allow you to stream your life to any number of followers. Facebook Livestream and Periscope are two of the more popular apps and they enable simple, fast streaming with real time user commenting for interaction.
There are valid uses in all walks of life for this: watch your friends get married even if you can’t make it to the wedding because you’re in a different country, or run a business presentation in another country and save yourself the cost (and environmental impact) of travelling. And there are less sensible choices, like streaming yourself riding your motorbike (like Lewis Hamilton did in New Zealand while riding over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, something the New Zealand police investigated but ultimately decided not to prosecute), or even streaming yourself while driving drunk!
It’s illegal to use a handheld phone while driving for any reason. Cradle-mounted phones can be used to make and receive calls, or as a navigation device.
The main causes of distracted driving are well-known: food, phone, children, road signage, other people outside the vehicle, changing the radio and mobile phones. Streaming as a specific task doesn’t appear in research because it’s too new, but it’s part of mobile phone use.
Distracted driving causes you to brake later and be more erratic. It makes it more difficult for you to stay in your lane meaning you’ve got more risk of crossing the centre line and having a head-on crash, which is likely to be especially fatal for you and your occupants if it’s a big lorry you crash into, or for the other driver if it’s a motorcyclist or cyclist. Braking later can mean the difference between having an injury accident and a fatal accident.
We know you need your 15 minutes of fame – we all do – but let’s leave it to another time because you don’t want the last few frames of your stream to also be the last few frames of your life.