A Simple Yes or No

Carolyn D

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I see another life completely altered or destroyed by a text. It all begins with answering a quick yes or no question. Suddenly, I am scrolling through Instagram and checking Snapchat stories. I see stories on the news of teenagers killing innocent people around them. I think this is unforgivable and cannot wrap my mind the selfishness and lack of awareness these people are okay with possessing. A simple yes or no response was the cause. My friend gets into a six-car wreck on the highway. She was texting, but no one got hurt. It could have ended a lot differently. A simple yes or no response was the cause. The same friend sends me a news story of a drunk truck driver obliterating the back of a young couple’s car. He crushed their first child into the backseat. Getting drunk and consciously behind the wheel with a total disregard to the consequences was the cause. My dad tells me again that texting and driving is worse than drunk driving, that it causes more destruction and more heartbreak. The loss of a life is the loss of a life, regardless of the backstory. If you feel confident enough to text and drive, you are taking the same risk you would be with getting behind the wheel while under the influence. I hop into my 2002 Honda-CRV, pull out of my driveway, and pick up my phone. My thirteen-year-old sister is next to me. Getting a license is a privilege. I believe that after passing the test, we should all be required to put a very real scenario together using the names of those we hold closest to our hearts that portray the possible destruction of being on your phone while behind the wheel. Then, the state should require the completion of a short questionnaire once a year that implements the original scenarios we created. It is so important to listen to the experiences of others, but putting things into first-person perspective hits closer to home. Hearing about a little girl’s death due to somebody texting and driving would make me sad, but I would move on. On the other hand, if I got reminded once a year of the possible event of me answering a Snapchat on the interstate, demolishing the car in front of me, and turning to my right to see my little sister bloody and unresponsive, I would think longer and harder about picking up my phone. Is the text or Snapchat worth the life sitting next to me?