Let's Talk: Technology Distractions

Read what others are saying about this month's topic. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comments and for considering how we can keep each other safer by removing technology distractions.

The Pledge to Limit Technology Distractions and the hashtag #LookUpUC were inspired by the 2016 freshman Common Read, A Deadly Wandering, by Matt Richtel. All UC students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the pledge.

The book is a true life account of how a fatal texting and driving accident touched the lives of the driver, the families of the victims, law enforcement, and influenced distracted driving legislation. It also weaves in the neuroscience of how our brains are distracted by technology, and are not built to manage all of the multi-tasking that is a part of our culture.

Join the 600+ students, faculty and staff who have taken the pledge!

Look who recently took the Pledge!

Ellie C. Alex K.
Christy C.
Dorothy E. Victoria M. Emily T.
Sarah S. Nicholas B. Dominique S.
Maurice P. Tori S.
Jessica W.
Kelly L. Benjamin T. Stephanie K.  
Karen D. Rebecca G. Emily R.

April - Live Your Full Life

How likely are you to text and drive after participating in the Distracted Driving Campaign?

1 Not Likely to 7 Extremely Likely

1 2 3
4 5 6 7
16 6 4 1 3 1 0

How likely were you to text and drive (including when stopped at traffic lights, rush hour traffic) before participating in the Distracted Driving Campaign?  Be honest- no judging here!

1 Not Likely to 7 Extremely Likely

1 2 3
4 5 6 7
7 5 5 1 5 4 4
How many times have you participated?   Have you shared the campaign?  
1 27 Yes 12
2 4 No 19
How many times have you shared?

Have you looked at past months' activities/comments?
1 - 3 10 Yes 16
4 + 2 No 15

I plan to limit this by putting my phone in the glove compartment or away in the car so I cannot check it while driving. This also helps not worrying about it going off in my pocket which can be a huge distraction as well! Student

I will turn the sound off of my phone while driving so that I'm not tempted to check it while I'm driving. I will also place it in the passengers seat so that it is out of reach. Student 

I plan to focus my attention on experiences and family rather than on my phone or laptop. Being with family and friends making memories is more important than anything I can do on technology. Student 

Put my phone on silnt when I am driving so I don't hear it. Faculty/Staff

What Excites You About the Next Stage in Your Life?

  • Working towards starting a career that I hope to remain in a be happy doing for a long time.
  • I am excited for the opportunity to travel and explore the world.
  • I can't wait to get my degree(s) from UC and start my life with a job in my field and have my own family some day.
  • I am excited to begin my second year of college and gain clinical experience.
  • I want to try to live in the moment more. This is a general life goal of mine, but more specifically this break I can focus on putting the phone away especially when I should be paying attention to what I'm doing. I plan to use technology less and be more present
  • Career, Work, Family, Vacation.
  • New job; traveling; possibly starting a second masters program.

Additional Comments about the Campaign

I love this initiative! Sometimes in our busy lives it's hard to maintain a perspective about how quickly everything can change. Answering one text may not seem like a big idea at the time but when you lose the things you've worked for, and the people you love, it makes you realize how big that one text really is. Distracted driving is dangerous. Student

My dreams are more important than a text! Student 

I plan to limit technology distractions through break by placing all unnecessary technology that could cause a distraction in my center console locked away or in the back seat of my car. Student

Thanks for encouraging the students to stay safe! Student 

March - The Distracted Mind

March Winner

Congratulations to Kimberly G., who won a $25 UC Bookstores Gift Card for participating in the discussion!

Before you saw this video, how much did you know about how our brains react to multi-tasking?

1 star (I thought multi-tasking was a GOOD thing! Gee, was I wrong!)
to 5 stars (I knew that multi-tasking was a myth!)

1 2 3
4 5
3 11 14 8 5

Rate your multi-tasking expertise.

1 star (I can't do it; need to concentrate!) to 5 stars (I can do it all, and then some!)

1 2 3
4 5
2 12 12 12 3

Name your top distractions while:

Walking   Studying In Class Driving  
Clouds Music Windows Other motorists
Looking at people Television/others talking  Others talking  Talking with others in car
Thinking about things Daydreaming Daydreaming Thinking about things to do
Talking to others Music
Others talking Phone ringing/
message notice
Thinking to myself Technology Peers Thinking to myself
Fumbling in purse for keys My children! N/A (online) My children!
Cars honking Phone Phone & computer Radio & advertisements
Thinking about work, home and family  
Listening to music Listening to music None
Listening to music
OCD Music Daydreaming Music
Not being fully present in the moment TV, Music Others around me Conversations
Cell phone TV N/A Radio
Phone Phone Other people talking Radio/other people
Thinking about things N/A N/A Thinking about things and messing with music
Cell phone TV Cell phone Kids
Social media How I need to prepare next The many tasks I have to accomplish My phone
Texting or playing games on my phone Texting
Texting Singing along to music
Texting   Surroundings Other students
Texting Social media Social media Texting, phone calls, to-do list
Other people, phones Phones, other people Other students   Other drivers
Listening to the iPod I don't study - I test students!
Students using their computers for things other than work
Talking on the phone
Phone Phone Phone Radio
External views Lack of focus Phone/tablet/internet Day dreaming
Kids Kids N/A Kids
My phone Facebook Other work Radio
People watching Fluffy cat who is begging me for attention Cell phone Fiddling with the radio
Texting Music Other homeowrk on my laptop or Instagram Music
My phone Phone Phone Phone
My Iphone Phone Phone Phone
Weather Outside noise Other students disrupting class Wandering mind
Cell phone Cell phone other students not paying attention Cell phone
Listening to music Netflix Facebook, texting Phone calls, texts
My phone My phone My phone My phone
Scenery Always have to watch tv Cell phone Billboards; fatigue
Listening to music Literally anything Other homework Phone
Phone - email, texts Noise Hallway noise Traffic
Looking at phone TV Daydreaming Changing radio station
Texting Social media Phone Texting and snapchat
Hearing approaching cars Background noises Outside noise and activities Being tired
Talking on the phone/texting Watching television Daydreaming/ being on laptop Talking on phone/radio
Phone Phone Friends Radio
Talking to friends Social Media Social Media and Classmates Changing music or radio stations

February - Your Distracted Driving Pledge to Your Loved Ones

I pledge to be safe for my life and for others by not being a distracted driver.   Miranda, Student

To just be more focused and aware.    Betty, Faculty/Staff

I always wear a seatbelt.  I always use my turn signals.  I refuse to engage in "flaming" on the road.  I try to leave more distance between me and the car in front of me.  And, I pledge to make a greater effort to stop at yellow lights and not try to get through them... for the improved safety of all.    Valerie, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to keep my eyes on the road!    Jonathan, Student

I will not be distracted while driving because nothing is worth the loss of a life.    Kimberly, Student

I pledge to be aware of my surroundings and put the phone down when walking and driving.    Ashley, Faculty/Staff

To be more alert in early morning, watching out for walkers and joggers.    Debbi, Faculty/Staff

I pledge not to be a distracted driver!    Rick, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to not text and drive or do anything that would distract me for even a moment as that is all it takes....    Michelle,  Faculty/Staff

I pledge to avoid distracted driving to create a safe driving environment for me and those around me.    Hannah, Student

I pledge to stay off of social media while driving.    Carly, Student

I pledge to not text and drive and drive safely as I can.  Tan, Student

I pledge not to text and drive.    Teresa, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to look at my colleagues when they are in my office instead of my laptop. I pledge to look at the beautiful architecture on UC campus instead of looking down at the sidewalk. I pledge to not drink and drive or use my phone while I am charged with driving.    Elaine, Faculty/Staff

February Winner

Congratulations to Deborha E., who won a $25 Starbucks Gift Card for participating in the discussion!

I pledge to keep my phone in my purse and to pay attention at all times.    Ashley, Faculty/Staff

If someone calls or texts while I am driving, I will wait until I can safely pull off to the side of the road to return the message. I will also ask if they can limit messages until I am done driving. I will also do the same for others in my family.    Caleb, Student

I pledge to not drive and text.    Jasmine, Student

I pledge to not text and drive and to not answer my phone while driving.    Jennifer, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to not use my phone while driving.    Kelly, Student

To not text and drive, putting my life at risk!    Julie, Student

I pledge not to snapchat and drive for the safety of myself and others.    Karim, Student

I submit to wait to read texts or mess with my phone.   Betty, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to not text and drive.    Peggy, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to keep myself and others safe by NOT having my phone in my hand while driving.  Mary Jane, Faculty/Staff
I pledge to drive only when I am focused and aware of the world outside of my windshield. To drive in any other condition is unfair to both my loved ones and the loved ones of everyone I encounter on the road.   Amanda, Student

I pledge to not glance at my phone while driving.    Anne, Faculty/Staff

I pledge not to text and drive for the safety of myself and others.     Teresa, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to share this site with everyone I love, so we can all be safer on the road.    Amanda, Faculty/Staff

I pledge to not text or Facebook while driving.    Shelly, Faculty/Staff

January - New Year. New Choices. #LookUpUC

Final Survey Results

In each table, importance is ranked 1 star (not important) to 5 stars (extremely important)

How important is it to YOU to respond IMMEDIATELY to a text from:

  1 2 3
4 5
Friend 29
8 10 5 1
Family   14 9 13 11
Employer 21 9 7 9

If the following SENT YOU a text and they knew you were driving, how important TO THEM would it be that you replied IMMEDIATELY:

  1 2 3
4 5
Friend 44
5 2 3  
Family   45 6
2 1  
Employer 41 6 2 4 1
I thought this video was very eye opening and the way they made it showed a lot of different thoughts and angles.    Student

Very impactful!  Pulls at your heartstrings.     Faculty/Staff

It can wait...    Faculty/Staff

When I was a sophomore in high school, a girl in the grade ahead of me started texting and driving and crashed her car, killing herself. I feel like once you're personally affected by something like that, you take it more seriously. Our school put on a really big assembly afterwards and explained the dangers and consequences of texting while driving. Even after that first incident, another student was struck by a car in the crosswalk. Both people were ok, but they were both distracted. Since then, I never text and drive. If i absolutely must, I try and pull over into a parking lot or ask someone else in the car to text for me. I take extra precaution to be aware of my surroundings near busy places, like schools, so I can watch out for anyone walking in the road. Sending a text while driving isn't worth losing your life over.    Student

My parents recently bought a new Subaru Outback, which is equipped with cameras that monitor your driving. An alarm beeps whenever you cross or crowd the yellow line in the middle or the white line on the side of the road.  My mother does not text while driving, but she will occasionally adjust the radio or heat settings.  She is not a bad driver, but it is surprising how many times even those small distractions will cause the alert to sound indicating she is over or too close to the middle of the road.  It is a good example of how dangerous distractions can be even for experienced relatively good drivers.  My mother is a confident driver and until we got this Subaru, neither she, or my brothers and I as passengers realized that distractions with the radio or car AC controls had any effect on her driving.  However, the percentage of times the alert sounds when my mother is distracted for just a few seconds, clearly demonstrates a cause/effect relationship between driving distracted and an increased risk of accident.    Student
I wish people would think about how texting (or some other activity) while driving could ruin another family's life. I think this video aimed to get viewers to realize that their actions do influence others.    Student

January Winner

Congratulations to Thyra J., who won a $25 Visa Gift Card for participating in the discussion!

It's a stark reminder of the damage we can do if we're distracted while driving. Nobody needs an immediate response from me.  There is time to view messages when I'm finished driving.    Faculty/Staff

Very powerful - this needs to be shared with everyone at UC.  I have even seen individuals so engrossed with their phones while walking that they have walked into others and landscaping.     Faculty/Staff

I like the video and hope it will help to deter others from texting while driving.  This is really serious.  When we didn't have technology at our fingertips, we managed very well.    Faculty/Staff

They would not want me texting and driving. Answering a text can wait until you are safely stopped.    Faculty/Staff

I usually let most people know when I'm driving, or I'll set my phone aside to keep it away or distract me when driving.    Student

The video really showed how even if you don't mean to cause any harm by texting and driving, you are putting a lot at risk including your safety and the safety of others.

It is good to think about how they would feel and not just how you feel when you receive a text.      Faculty/Staff

I think the video and the survey questions are very eye opening and makes you really think about just how important it is to answer a text while driving.    Student

This was a great video!    Faculty/Staff

It was effective in communicating the importance of waiting to text back.    Student

It was such a good representation of why its important to wait until its appropriate to check your texts.     Faculty/Staff

Really brings home how dangerous it is to text and drive, and that many people do not get the seriousness.    Faculty/Staff

Very emotional and powerful.     Faculty/Staff

Being an aspiring young professional, I find respond as promptly to everyone as I can. There is a proper time and a place for everything, though, and responding to messages is included.

Checking a message in the middle of surgery or a business consultation may have bad consequences for your career...
Checking a message while driving may have disastrous consequences for your life and freedom...

This is a great video that shows how no one 'intends' to get into an accident, that is why they are called accidents, and how responsibility and paying attention can prevent something so preventable! It conveys this message very well I believe because it allows the viewers to connect with possible peers and a young family, and then conveys a powerful message without resorting to shock footage.

Cars are wonderful devices that facilitate so much, yet are disrespected by so many. If everyone were to treat these machines, and each other, with a bit of respect, the streets could be safer, more efficient places with less need for silly laws. Do we really need to be threatened with a fine in order to not hurdle ourselves blindly across the Earth in a speeding metal box?!?!

If we respect ourselves, respect each other, and respect the road, the roads will become a safer, more enjoyable place for all... :)    Student

December - Holiday Distractions Infographic

Greatest Distractions: Around the holidays I am distracted by making sure I have gotten gifts for everyone in my family and making sure everything will be delivered on time.
Tip to Limit Distractions: I am planning to limit technology distractions while driving by plugging my phone in to charge while I drive so that I am not tempted to use it while it charges up.    Student

Greatest Distraction: Christmas lights.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Put my phone on the opposite side of the car.    Student

Greatest Distraction: The stress of the upcoming semester!
Tip to Limit Distractions: I want to try to live in the moment more. This is a general life goal of mine, but more specifically this break I can focus on putting the phone away especially when I should be paying attention to what I'm doing. I plan to use technology less and be more present.      Student

Greatest Distraction: family
Tip to Limit Distractions: do other activities    Student

Greatest Distraction: My greatest holiday distraction is using navigation/GPS systems.
Tip to Limit Distractions: I plan to limit technology distractions through winter break by placing all unnecessary technology that could cause a distraction in my center console locked away or in the back seat of my car.      Student

Greatest Distraction: Texting
Tip to Limit Distractions: Put the phone in my pocket out of sight.    Student

Greatest Distraction: Advertisements, decorations, my phone
Tip to Limit Distractions: I plan to focus my attention on experiences and family rather than on my phone or laptop. Being with family and friends making memories is more important than anything I can do on technology.      Student

Greatest Distraction: The Christmas lights
Tip to Limit Distractions: Keeping my phone in my purse more.    Student

Greatest Distraction: my navigation system.
Tip to Limit Distractions: i am going to try to look at the directions before i start driving to get a good idea of where i'm going.     Student

December Winner

Congratulations to Ashley W., who won a $25 Starbucks Gift Card for participating in the discussion!

Greatest Distraction: Looking at my phone when I could be conversing with my family.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Have all family members stack their phones on a coffee table.    Student

Greatest Distraction: Christmas lights and snow.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Stay off my phone while driving and paying extra attention to the road due to weather.  Student

Greatest Distraction: My greatest holiday distraction is group text from family and friends.
Tip to Limit Distractions: I plan to limit this by putting my phone in the glove compartment or away in the car so I cannot check it while driving. This also helps not worrying about it going off in my pocket which can be a huge distraction as well!    Student

Greatest Distraction: Six flags.
Tip to Limit Distractions: As a new years resolution I plan on never texting and driving because that can always wait.     Student

Greatest Distraction: My greatest holiday distraction is using my phone while I am in commute. This can be due to the extra phone calls and text messages that come with the holidays and holiday plans.
Tip to Limit Distractions: I plan to set my phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode while I am driving. The use of technology distractions in combination with holiday traffic is not a safe situation for anyone on the roads.  Student

Greatest Distraction: A hot coffee in the car.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Put away my phone when driving.    Student

Greatest Distraction: Netflix. I don't get to just sit and binge watch tv very often so I definitely take advantage of it during break.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Focus on spending time with family will help.    Student

Greatest Distraction: All the Christmas lights!
Tip to Limit Distractions: Put my phone so I can't read it.    Student

Greatest Distraction: Festive lights.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Remembering that texts can wait. My family and friends would rather wait for my reply than to possibly get hurt because of being distracted.     Student

Greatest Distraction: More people calling and texting during the holidays.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Put my phone on silent when driving so I don't hear it.    Faculty/Staff

Greatest Distraction: My greatest holiday distraction are the constant text messages I am getting from my friends and family about all of the plans we need to make.
Tip to Limit Distractions: I try to keep my phone out of sight when I am driving.  I have bluetooth in my car, and if someone really needs to get ahold of me, they can call me! A text can wait.   Student

Greatest Distraction: Thinking about Christmas shopping.
Tip to Limit Distractions: Focusing more on my family and being present with them versus different technologies.    Student

Greatest Distraction: Rushing from places
Tip to Limit Distractions: Turn phones sound off while driving

Greatest Distraction: looking at all the holiday decorations out up on houses and buildings as i drive by.
Tip to Limit Distractions: I will turn the sound off of my phone while driving so that I'm not tempted to check it while I'm driving. I will also place it in the passengers seat so that it is out of reach.     Student

November - It Can Wait Video

I think it's great that they had Jacey speak to those individuals to tell them about her experience with a driver who wasn't paying attention. Thankfully, I have not had a similar experience. However, I know that several of my friends and loved ones look at their phone while driving. My tip to everyone is to stay off your phones when you're driving. It's better to be safe than sorry.    Student

Video had a powerful message with an actual victim of a distracted driving. Just driving down in Clifton is a nightmare people running red lights and people cutting you off. It can wait or pull into a parking lot and finish the texts.    Student

This is a very powerful video and should been seen by all drivers, young or old. I see drivers fooling with their devices while driving and it worries me that they could hurt others.    Faculty/Staff

This video was seriously awakening for me. I am a 38 year old mother 3 children, and I am guilty of distracted driving. I have never been one to text r text selfies while driving, but recently I have been playing Pokemon go with my 18yo daughter; while driving. I try to set a good example for my children, but I see now that I too am contributing to this problem. This is something that I have to change. I have to set a better example for my children, so that they don't make this same mistake. I shared this video with my children, so that they too can see the impact that distracted driving can have on someone's life. I hope that this video has the same impact on them that it has had on me. Thank you so much for sharing this story so that we all can reflect on the choices that we make and how they might affect our lives, or the lives an an innocent family.   Student

This video was very touching. Its hard to believe things like this really do happen. After seeing this it makes me think first about even picking up my phone to change the song while driving.     Student

This video is very powerful and exactly what people need to see. Everyday when I drive I see people using their phones; while driving, while stopped in traffic and they are people of all ages. I believe we are ready for driverless cars because most people are not focused on driving. They are focused on their phones.   Faculty/Staff

The video really opened my eyes to see a survivor who lost so much in a time that should have been spent celebrating her achievements. Instead of being able to move on with her career she was pushed back and had to relearn all of her basic functions without the help of her mom and dad who were tragically killed. Personally I do look at my phone while I am driving and occasionally I do send a quick text. Seeing her story and the way that someone mindlessly changed her life made me realize that your actions can change some one else's life in an instance and it is not fair to others to distract yourself while you are at the wheeel. Do not make your life or someone else's life a statistic of deaths due to texting and driving, make a change because ignoring the road just once can be your last decision ever.    Student

Think this video is really important for students to see - even some adults. I think that today's generation is so used to getting info instantaneously that they don't think about the consequences.

To avoid distractions, put the phone in the backseat or the glove box! Faculty/Staff

I would like to add that distracted pedestrians are also an issue. Several times I have had pedestrians walk out in front of a vehicle because they were not paying attention to their surroundings. People need to take their headphones out and look up at the world around them.    Faculty/Staff

The video shows some real emotion. It seems like it is oriented to only younger people. Unfortunately I see many middle aged people texting and talking as well when they are driving.  Faculty/Staff

Very impactful video.    Student

The video was very eye-opening and helps to see the other side of texting and driving - what happens when someone is hit. The best advice is to just keep your phone away so it is not a distraction and not easy to get to while driving.    Faculty/Staff

Everyone with a cell phone should see this video! Very touching, very eye opening at the same time.  Community Member

That was a powerful video, it will definitely make everyone think and change their habits.    Faculty/Staff

November Winner

Congratulations to Allen R., who won a $25 UC Bookstores Gift Card for participating in the discussion!

The video was very powerful. It helps you to think just how quickly things can change and/or go wrong. I have not had a similar experience. My tip would be to turn your phone on silent before getting in the car so you don't know when someone is trying to reach you while you are driving.     Faculty/Staff

I have seen this video! I saw it on facebook and cried. I shared it with my facebook friends as well. Very powerful. I was shocked to hear that someone who is on the road regularly uses social media while driving. I would advise someone to put your phone where you cannot see it while driving. Out of sight, out of mind.   Student

A really powerful video! My husband's cousin actually died in a car crash that they think was caused by him texting while driving.        Faculty/Staff

This was an extremely powerful video! My hope is that everyone university wide views this video. If you think you must look a text message, or what not, why not pull into a parking lot to view and respond to it.     Faculty/Staff

Very powerful. Your life and the lives of others can change in an instant. Don't text and drive.  Faculty/Staff

It made me realize that there are consequences to all of my actions. Even though I am careless and think that texting and driving is just something small that type of accident could have been caused by anyone even me. I really need to start taking responsibility for my actions and do everything I can to prevent myself from causing this to happen.    Student

I think this really puts into perspective how big of a deal texting and driving is. I know people do it because they think they'll never be the ones to cause an accident, but it could happen to anyone. I know when I'm in a car with my friends and they are texting and driving I always speak up and tell them it can wait, it's not worth risking our lives. My best advice for someone who wants to avoid technology distractions on the road is put your phone out of reach. If you can't reach it, then you can't text. I usually put mine in my purse on the floor of the passenger side of my car, that way even if I am tempted to text I physically cannot get to my phone.   Student

I thought that the video was extremely enlightening as it demonstrated not only that texting, snapchating, and doing other things while driving can harm yourself it can also harm someone who was not doing anything wrong at all. A great way to avoid technology distractions is to just turn off your phone/smart-watch etc. before driving, most of the time if it does not ring or vibrate we can forget that it is there entirely.      Student

This video really hits home. We are all so guilty of using our phones while driving and it is so sad that it takes watching this video or watching someone's life be completely turned upside down to understand that our actions have a huge impact. Like the boy said in the video, I look at my phone and know that it's wrong but I keep using it anyway. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and unfortunately Jacey had to lose so much to show the rest of the world how terrible things can end up by just looking at just one text, snap chat, or tweet. Regardless of how important our phones may be, no one deserves to lose everything because of such a selfish mistake.    Student

When I first watched the video it made me think about how little people my age took texting and driving seriously. They seemed to make a joke of it, that was until they received a real life example which brought home the point of how serious it actually is and how it can change your life. I have almost been hit while driving because of a driver texting and running me out of my lane while they were trying to get over. It is a very scary feeling because looking down for 10 seconds can cost someone their life. My advice for someone who is trying to avoid technology while driving is to put their phone on silent and put it in the glove box that way they will not be tempted to reach for it when it rings.    Student

The book A Deadly Wandering is the freshman common read about texting and driving - eye opening.    Student

The video was frightening and scary. My husband and I had an experience on the highway of a young girl texting behind us, at first we thought she was intoxicated but realized she was texting, she would speed up and slow down and was swerving left and right, we not only feared for ourselves but for the young girl driving, so sad. My advice would be to put your phone in the trunk of your car so as not to be tempted to pick it up.    Faculty/Staff

I think it was very eye opening. I usually will glance down at my phone at red lights but, I refrain from texting while driving.  Faculty/Staff