The many tools and gadgets available to us can be a great benefit of our times.
I sometimes remember what it was like to drive in my first car. It served its purpose to bring me from point A to point B and I loved it.
To find my way I relied on paper maps, yes these things which were always too large when unfolding them. It was fun to figure out which towns I would pass by or which way would be the most adequate one.
Today, things are easy. I type the address I want to reach into the device at hand and start driving. I’ll get information about road works and the given traffic situation, including traffic jams. This generates information of my estimated arrival time. If I’m delayed I can use my mobile phone to inform those waiting for me. It can mean a gain of time.
There are many more tools for making my driving experience safer as well as more convenient. Consider for example a driving assistance to help stay on the lane or to keep the right distance with the car ahead. Many of these tools reduce the energy needed to drive and concentrate on it. A lot of them do it by reducing the cognitive effort necessary and thus expanding the attention space available to us.
But, how are you using it?
If less of your attention is being used to drive then before, do you benefit from it by reducing the attention put into the driving or by using this available attention to add more care to your driving? Where is your attention going to?
Feeling more comfortable in your driving expands your comfort zone creating a new sense of driving in a safe car. Have you become a better driver now? Can you become even faster and chase the performance overwhelm? Or are you learning that the distance between feeling safe and being driving at risk could have reduced itself?
The real benefit of this shiny new world is how it gives responsibility back.
The challenge of this shiny new world is to see and accept this responsibility.