In addition to car makers marketing driverless cars — just kick back and let little it drive itself via computer and a satellite duct taped to Mars or wherever — now, there’s a concept car called the Portal being unveiled by Chrysler Fiat. And it’s all about selfies and social media.


The small car has three rows of seats so you can bring the whole posse. Everybody can hook up their phone, tablet or other social media equipment because, heaven forbid somebody run out of juice while posting photos of themselves in said car. Apparently, the car itself is hooked into some social media hub, too. There are cameras mounted all over the car’s interior to be sure you get the very best selfie (or groupie) angles and can immediately post them to the web. In case somebody, most likely everybody, has their ears filled with mini speakers hooked to the above-noted devices, there’s an intercom to use so that everyone can hear the driver — probably yelling “Smile” or, more likely “Hang on!”


I have definite issues with this.


No. 1, lots of folks no longer communicate verbally, at least not in person. In fact, I’m not even sure the word “verbal” is included in the dictionary these days. Oh wait, there aren’t dictionaries either. Never mind, people are now texting each other (correct spelling not required) … and they’re sitting side-by-side. That being said, why should the car have all those seats? Nobody’s going to be talking with anyone else in the car, so why bring them along?


No. 2, call me old school, but shouldn’t the driver be a bit more concerned with — say — driving? And maybe the passengers a bit more concerned about not distracting the driver?


No. 3, I hate to break the news folks, but there’s not enough people (maybe no one) waiting in breathless anticipation of your next selfie for you to risk your life and the lives of everyone around you.


Maybe someone should invent a car that, with the exception of emergency workers and actual emergencies, ceases to function if a cell phone is being used. And that would also mean no cameras.



Happy birthday Tuesday to Carolyn Patrick, Pay Smith and Roy Worthington, all of Sherman; Peyton Reed of Denison; Lynnette Walters of Allen; Bobbie Pierce of Ivanhoe; and Curtis Luper of Trophy Club.