Dangerous Thoughts

I’m the sort of person who likes to be prepared.  It’s second nature for me to plan ahead and try to consider every possible outcome of almost every situation, especially the negative ones.  I buy travel insurance for our big trips, have an emergency kit both in my house and in the trunk of my car, keep a stash of any medications I may need in my purse, etc.  I always have a “plan B” in mind when I’m making any kind of decision, no matter how big or small, because I’m well aware that things might not work out as I had hoped.

So I really don’t need anyone or anything constantly warning me of possible danger, or pointing out all the things that should be causing me worry and angst.  Believe me, I’ve got that covered.  Which is why I get so annoyed with all the warnings and alerts that I’m bombarded with every day of my life.

The news media is bad enough, with it’s constant stream of negativity and dire warnings about, well….everything.  Yes, we are facing some very serious issues in our country and in the world, but I don’t think that daily newscasts with the essential message of  “be afraid, be very afraid!” are going to help us solve them.  Nor do I appreciate it when my cell phones sends me emergency news alerts about things that are definitely not emergencies.  If my phone is going to interrupt my day with an alert, it had better be about something serious, like an approaching tornado or an invasion of Martians.

But the worst offender is my car.  It has several built-in warning systems which I’m sure were intended for safety, and that’s a good thing.  Unfortunately, I’ve come to believe that my car was programed by someone who’s rather paranoid, because it warns me about everything, all the time.  If I pull into the garage and get within two feet of the trash cans, my car not only beeps at me, but warning lights flash and sometimes it even hits the automatic brakes.  Yes, getting within two feet of another car on the highway would be a problem.  But I’m parking my car.  In my garage.  And it’s not a huge garage, so I have to get “dangerously” close to the trash cans to do so.

Last week my car got really upset because I had parked in the street, and someone else pulled up behind me a bit closer than my car deemed appropriate.  They had actually left plenty of room for me to pull away from the curb, but the minute I started my car, it flashed and beeped and generally had a panic attack as I manuvered out of the spot.  I swear, if my car was a person, it would say nothing but “Danger!  Watch out!  Oh my gosh, oh my gosh…OH MY GOSH!!!!”

As I said, I don’t need this in my life.  I’m well aware of the dangers that surround me, and I take them seriously.  If I’m going to be bombarded with unsolicited messages, I’d much rather hear something encouraging, such as, “You can do it!”  Building confidence is almost always more effective than instilling fear, even when facing the big problems, in my opinion.  Now all I have to do is figure out a way to get others, especially my car, on board with that….

106 thoughts on “Dangerous Thoughts

  1. I’m laughing right out loud, Ann! We just got a new car and I drove it for over an hour to get to my Mom’s house. By the time I landed, I was literally yelling at it, “YEAH, I KNOW!!!!” All those crazy warnings are going to give me a heart attack and cause a real accident!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree! They are actually distracting, which sort of takes away the whole “safety angle.” Not to mention so annoying that we’re trying to drive when we’re tense and angry, which isn’t a good thing either!

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  2. Bring your car back in to the dealer and have them disable the car feature. If they can put a man on the moon they can disable your car. Don’t take no for an answer.
    Turn off the news.
    Disable notifications on your smart phone and computer.
    Wear blinders when going outside. The kind they put on dogs and horses.
    Also. Stop posting. Someone is after you. Hey you never know, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that’s strange too, Svet! But the truth is, they most certainly think they do know better than us. And when we think about how all cars are going to eventually drive themselves, it sort of makes me wonder just exactly where they’re going to take us! LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha maybe there’s a way to switch off the announcements /panic alerts etc… like cut a wire, press a “shut the hell up” button somewhere in your car. And then put a copy of “Tge little Engine that could” on the dash board instead 🙂

    I’m with you on always having a plan b, and c – sometimes Ben adds a c and d as well.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have such a fancy car! Mine doesn’t warn me of anything unusual – especially my maneuvering. I can see how that would be unnerving! I think I’d rather hear “You can do it” while I’m parallel parking 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! “You can do it” is exactly what we need to hear, not all these crazy alerts that usually just startle me. And trust me, hang on to your old car for as long as you can. The new ones leave a lot to be desired!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cut or have someone knowledgable cut one speaker wire and the computer system will continue to warn you, but you won’t hear its dire messages. When it’s time to sell the car, the wire can easily be reconnected. I am driving a 2006 Escape, so I am just getting the silent readout with very benign messages, such as your left driver’s door is ajar. I can handle that small nuisance. Haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have a pretty standard model of my current car. I specifically chose it without all the bells and whistles, but that was 6 years ago so I can imagine what has changed in that time. Even the simple warnings I do sometimes get have caused me to be paranoid. I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had your car. Probably park it and take the bus 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trust me, that’s starting to sound like a good idea! I could read a book while I’m riding on the bus, which sounds rather peaceful. The problem is, all these alerts are now standard on the new cars. I specifically got the same make as my old car, because I really liked it. And I do like the way this one handles, but it came with a bunch of features I don’t want to need, like unnecessary alerts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is my fear, that by the time I need a newer car I will not be able to find something that simply transports me from here to there. I’m all for safety, but if I need that many warnings then I really shouldn’t be driving!

        Liked by 2 people

        • That’s what I think! If you honestly can’t tell that you’re about to run into another car, then for goodness sake, quit driving! Yes, there are those occasions when we are distracted and a car that knows how to brake on it’s own is a good thing, but those are few and far between. Whatever happened to (putting your phone down) and paying attention to your driving?

          Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t blame you! I firmly believe that the more we allow our machines and gadgets to do for us, the less we will be able to do for ourselves. And I don’t think that’s a good thing at all. Thanks for the comment, Lisa!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. spot on … maybe we are now the servants of our smart cars?!?
    My least favourite warning is a reminder for an appointment … I made the appt so I’m unlikely to forget it … but seven reminders in a 24 hour period is excess!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point! My car might very well be the Martian in disguise. (Who knew that this was how they were going to take over the world?) And honestly, I think I’d trade cars with you if I could. In the car/person relationship, I prefer to be the smart one. Which certainly means I don’t need a smart car!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! Even part of this was written as humor, I really do believe that we don’t empower people through fear. We need to believe that we are capable of fixing problems before we’re willing to actually tackle those problems!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I understand and wholly agree, Ann. I’m sick and tired of being scared and on edge too. Our 12 year old car came equipped with parking sensors that screamed exclamation marks at you if so much as a drop of rain lingered over it, the raindrop being interpreted as an object which was dangerously close to the car. We got used to it over time but the first few times were harrowing, to say the least.

    But that was pretty tame stuff compared to the time when another sensor malfunctioned, causing the heart-attack inducing alert message: ENGINE FAULT!!! STOP DRIVING!!! – right in the middle of a highway in a largely deserted area at dusk.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have an older car that doesn’t have the latest “paranoid” software… but never fear, my beautiful wife has kept me “safe” through the years! 🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I have a feeling my husband would say the same thing about me, and I KNOW I could say the same thing about him. He once yelled “watch out!” so suddenly that I actually slammed on the brakes in the middle of the street, and it was just because he thought I was going to miss my turn!
      PS: Say hello to your wife from me!!!!

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  10. You’re so right about the news, Ann – they need us to be scared so we keep tuning in, but it feels like perpetual fear-mongering on the part of the media. Like you, I’m a worst-case scenario person so don’t need the extra worry. Your neurotic car did make me laugh though 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have come to believe that the fear-mongering is indeed intentional, and not at all good for us. When we were on vacation recently, I tuned into a station from another country (don’t remember which one, but it was in English) and they were actually doing a news story on the many ways that different agencies and companies are coming up with to address global warming. We need to hear about that kind of thing more often, I think, in order to understand the whole picture.
      And I’m glad the car made you laugh! I can laugh about it too, which I’m not actually driving it. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I know! Why would anyone want to hook everything up to their cell phone, so our appliances can communicate with us 24/7? Seriously, why do we need that? I’m glad that your car is less annoying, and I’m sure you’ll resist the urge to get those apps on your phone!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ann, when the time comes for buying a newer car I’ll definitely be ruling out those with so many safety features. I guess there’s no limit when it comes to keeping us safe from everyday life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Believe me, Des, when you’re shopping for a new car, be very leery of anything that is touted as a safety feature. Make sure it is explained to you in full so you can decide whether or not you want it. For instance, my car does have a light on either door that lights up when a car is in my blind spot, and I like that. It’s helpful. Buy my car hitting the emergency brakes when I’m parking in my garage is just weird…..

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I too, think it is good to have a plan B! But once we have made the best possible decisions and ‘prepared’ the way, we need to live a little. A life spent living in constant fear is not a good life; life should be a grand adventure, knowing that even with the best made plans, there will be alterations. And that is perfectly okay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! Having a plan B is what allows me to relax and enjoy the situation, because I know I have a back up plan in case it’s needed. Sort of like knowing you have a spare tire in your trunk when you head out on a long car trip. And I will continue to resist attempts to keep me frightened and anxious…who needs that???

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  13. Ha ha, John’s car is like yours. It doesn’t seem to bother him, but I get terrified as a passenger. Mine isn’t quite so bad but it did screech at me once and flash a big red STOP! Apparently one tyre was a bit too soft – and I’d got a bit too blasé about ignoring the warning light. I think most gadgets I own have capabilities that I have no idea how to use and have no need for even if I did!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really does, Alan! And the worst thing about all these alarms is that we just learn to tune them out, so that when a genuinely dangerous situation occurs, we ignore the alarms. Remember the “chicken little” story? I think that really applies here…..

      Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to me that they have installed some of these safety features before they actually “worked out all the kinks.” One can only hope that they figure it out sooner, rather than later. Because right now, I’m actually sort of regretting getting a new car at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. OH MY GOSH!! This really caused me some giggles. The last rental car had all sorts of warnings. The most annoying was the dire warning and accompanying buzzer when changing lanes. The car was screaming that there were other cars too close and that we were leaving our lane! It begs the question, how exactly do you change lanes on a busy 6 lane interstate at 70 mph?? I dread the time when we need to purchase a new car!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly!!! Whoever programmed these cars probably has never actually driven a car anywhere other than on a rural road, miles from any real traffic. The alarms go off when we’re just driving normally, or parking, or whatever. And all that’s going to result in is us learning to ignore all the alarms, all the time! Meanwhile, I’m going to have to figure out a way to slip my car some valium…..

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Your car is too smart for it’s own good 😂I’m with you on not needing the warnings and ‘advice’, as someone who also plans and prepares plan Bs. I’m happy to swap you for my car, a Hyundai i10 older model without the bells & whistles (also without working a/c, but I’ll skip that part 😉)
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know either until I bought the stupid thing! I did turn off the voice warning me of weather alerts, which was a good thing. I think I’m going to take it to the dealer and ask their advice on how to disable, or at least reset, some of the other alerts. There are a few that I like, but most of them can go!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann,

    Had to laugh at this one and also totally feel your pain. I have rented many cars in recent years that do all sorts of crazy stuff. Most of it is totally uncalled for and leaves the experienced driver wondering “Why?” My newer (purchased this Spring) 2006 Subaru has the very annoying “ding” for the seat belt. So while I am just sitting in the car trying to figure out my radio/cell phone pairing it drives me crazy!!!
    In fact I was so happy my son was able to show me how the cell/radio pair for my return trip that I wanted to dance. Looking at the phone gps while driving is dangerous! Only… now the gps did strange things all the way back to MN. Sounds like a blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My idiotic new car slammed on the brakes when someone in front of me was turning too slowly, nearly causing an accident. I’m sure the people in back of me thought I was insane. Too much of a good thing, if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your story reminds me of Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. False alarms are like lies. After constantly being bombarded by them, we won’t believe the alarm for a real emergency or some truth from the mouth of a liar. I like your positive reinforcement idea. It would really help if my car encouraged me with a “you can do it” next time I have to parallel park in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!!! When we are constantly hearing alarms, we simply tune them out. But if we heard the occasional encouragement, that would actually bolster our confidence in our ability to drive our cars all by ourselves, as Henry Ford intended!

      Liked by 1 person

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