Driving Like Me

I don’t like anything.

That is to say I don’t LIKE anything.

I don’t mean I don’t like any thing. That would just be ridiculous. Or perhaps suggest my only experience of tech is the Amstrad emailer phone, the Sinclair C5 and the Blackberry Playbook.

What I mean is I never click on little digital thumb symbols to give my unadulterated approval of anything I see on the Internet. It is beset with implication.

It is such an easy thing to do and I often think I would love to give a simple little nod of approval to an article that’s posted or a comment made. A nice way to encourage the author to keep up with their fine work.

The problem is I’m aware that the simple little LIKE feature can be a powerful tool in the hands of a menacing Corporate Social Media baron.

Say for instance I read a great tip on how on how to mend a leak in a Dutch levee and so added my approval. Before long and unbeknownst to me, my contacts may be bestowed with the message that Vince likes Dykes. My mates would exclaim, “Crikes, Vince likes Dykes.”

As you can see I am no longer controlling my Internet profile. It is being blown out of proportion to my original simple and contemporary appreciation of my friend Michael’s great posting on travelling Dutch waterways – Mike’s Bike Hikes On Dykes – if you’re interested.*

I personally wish the LIKE button remained just an innocent way to compliment something and where I would most appreciate this function is when I’m out and about on the road.

Imagine a LIKE button feature on cars using a simple dash mounted switch to display a screen mounted message. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just flick your knob every time you saw something you appreciated on the road. And a little LED screen message popped up with the word LIKE.

You could use this to commend other motorists on good behaviour such as being let out of a side turning, leaving a proper stopping distance or generally getting out of my way when I’m trying to get home quickly to listen to a live video podcast.

I would love to get an acknowledged thumbs up for a great overtaking manoeuvre I had just performed or perhaps to dish one out as appreciation of you bringing out your posh new sports car on a wet Wednesday.

The natural extension of the motoring LIKE button is the obverse DISLIKE message. This would be applied for commenting on bad driving such as cutting in, poor lane discipline or running over a child.

And in this interconnected world the messages could be linked. When a LIKE or DISLIKE is given it could be Bluetoothly transferred between vehicles. In this way all the LIKEs and DISLIKEs could be tallied up over a period to give a measure on how considerate a driver you are.

The downside would be that before long this score would be wiretoothed to your insurance company to affect your premium. And unlike Stock Markets this value never seems to go down as well as up no matter how many LIKEs you would receive.

Another vehicle to vehicle message could be based on the the ‘blue flag’ indicator commonly seen in F1 racing. Imagine having an illuminated blue lamp to signify that the car behind is going quicker and is wanting to get past.

I travel, ahem, promptly but always leave a good stopping distance. This can confuse the average, ambling, myopic driver ahead, loping along thoughtlessly in an outer lane. He hasn’t used his rear view mirror since 1973 and refuses to use the perfectly adequate and strangely empty lane to his inside but will politely move over if it is bought to his startling attention that another car is on the road and wishes to travel quicker. Even if on passing he immediately re-engages his previous position once more in that unfathomable lane change manoeuvre.

The ‘I want to overtake you blue flag light’ would be more polite than the traditional aggressive flash, the inside lane parallel formation drive with attendant shrug or the oft-used rear approach to within 6mm of the bumper. The latter being the favoured approach by drivers with four interlocking rings on their grille.

Incidentally all small Japanese cars driven by the elderly will have to have their blue flag message light illuminated every three minutes by law as they are invariably in the way.

I say bring on car to car comms. I would LIKE that.

PS if you like this blog click the LIKE button. I know I wouldn’t.

PPS *Did you really Google this?