Dear Ms. Smartphone: Why do I feel the need to answer my phone when I am in the car? I know it is not safe, but I still feel the need to pick up the call. I feel so conflicted by this. K.P, San Francisco
Dear K.P. You didn’t state your age, but before smartphones and the answering machine, people answered the phone whenever it rang- it was rude to not do so. And, there were no safety concerns as phones were stationary (fixed to a wall). Today, phones travel with us, and that brings lots of safety concerns… but they also provide the security of maps and navigation. The easiest solution is to turn the ringer to ‘off’ when you drive and leave the GPS on. But, you can also sharpen your mental skills: keep looking straight ahead at the road, remind yourself that an important caller will leave a message. Bring to mind this is a ‘robo’ on two counts: it is stealing your attention, and, most likely, a robo-call.