Most readers were horrified by Supergrrrl, who wrote in to defend her right to text behind the wheel ("I Like Texting While Driving," 5/21/10). She deplored the new state law that bans this pastime, arguing that young people are used to multitasking so, like, what's the big deal? Her ultimate argument: "I've never had a problem."
I'll begin with the letter from her one defender, who probably emailed it from the Beltline at rush hour.
Dear Tell All: I agree with Supergrrrl about texting while driving. Do you notice that the only people who FREAK OUT over it are people over 40? That's because they don't understand texting, and they can't do it. Believe me, if your fingers don't have arthritis, it is no trouble to tap out a short message at a stoplight, or when driving slowly in stop-and-go traffic. That's really what we're talking about - not composing a three-paragraph statement while zooming down the Interstate at 60 miles per hour. If you can eat a McDonald's meal with one hand while driving (you know who you are, state legislators), you can text while driving, too.
Dear Tell All: Kudos to Supergrrrl, who wants to keep texting while driving. What with seatbelt and DUI enforcement, we are in dire need of organ donors. It is nice to see young people stepping up to meet societal needs.
Dear Tell All: Supergrrrl deludes herself when she thinks that young people can multitask without consequences. Studies show that young people actually accomplish less and with less insight when they multitask. I suspect that she has had close calls of which she was unaware because she was texting at the time!
Dear Tell All: I just want Supergrrrl to know that I cut out what she wrote and posted it up on a bulletin board at work with the title, "This is why we're all going to die at the hands of the young."
Newly Converted Pedestrian
Do you have a question about life or love in Madison? Write Tell All, 101 King St., Madison, WI, 53703. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.