saw an article the other day that claimed millennials are more
likely to be able to recognize certain emoji symbols than the
tire pressure warning light on the dashboard of a car. And I immediately
reacted as most of us should… a combination of it not being a
big deal mixed with heavy skepticism of why it was even worth
perhaps those thoughts seem cynical. But allow me this addition…
article I read never said whether or not someone born 40, 50,
or even more years ago, could identify the tire pressure light.
But it did say that when expanded from “millennials” to “all drivers”
the percentage identifying the tire pressure light went down.
here we are, with an article that is beefing up the argument that
(my words): “Hey, more youngsters are recognizing the eye-roll
and poop emojis than this warning light on their dashboard.” That’s
the big thing. We’re supposed to be drawn into the article by
such a claim, and the drive of the article is how shocking it
is that millennials know more about emojis than the dashboard
of the car they’re driving.
hold on… cast off to the side is a note, quickly mentioned and
forgotten, that sixty-plus percent of all drivers have no clue
what the symbol means. Which, just so happens to be an even high
percentage than those the article is chastising.
it’s floating around in my head. How is this an issue? In fact,
I’m not even linking to the article. You want to read it, go search
for it. Goodyear was part of the study, so here’s your word string:
Goodyear study tire pressure light. Enjoy.)
if it isn’t the article itself, there must be a different question
that gets me writing. Why is this frustrating me? And the answer
is in that part about the tossed to the side stats that drivers
overall are even worse than millennials. It’s the lack of material,
research, and thought. Ok…
up… the emoji part.
me ask you two questions: How often do you use emojis? How often
are the warning lights on your dashboard lit?
willing to bet that virtually all of us see and use emojis—the
thumbs up, smiley/laughing face—fairly often. Perhaps several
times every day. If nothing else, others use them when sending
us texts and posting on Facebook. Normal, regular, average parts
of everyday life.
the tire pressure light on a dashboard is a part of your daily
routine, something’s wrong. (And hopefully, something minor.)
the age of the tire pressure light.
studies and information linked to tire pressure monitoring go
back roughly 40-50 years. That isn’t a perfect timeframe, but
it’s a good start. Why? Well, issues with fuel supplies and costs
back then led to an increase in studies on the value of properly
inflated tires. Plus, there are some documented research projects
from roughly those dates into the safety issues created by underinflated
tires on braking and handling. So, that’s when we might be best
served saying the concept began. However, everyone also agrees
that from the seventies into the eighties there wasn’t any reliable
system in place for measuring tire pressure beyond getting out
of the car and grabbing a handheld gauge. It’s a start, could
be earlier, but reliable efforts definitely come later.
the eighties move into the nineties, built-in systems begin appearing.
Most look at Porsche models for the start and… you might believe
it… the Corvette for the application. From there, the use expanded
in high performance vehicles and more expensive cars. In short,
hardly every day availability and mainstream awareness. Which
leads us to Congress and federal regulations.
date arrives in September of 2007. That is when it was required
that all vehicles were to be equipped with devices to monitor
tire pressure. (Some exceptions and workarounds existed for things
like vehicle weight, but it works for this conversation.)
story short… for the concept of when tire pressure lights became
standard parts of our vehicles, we’re marking the 2008 model year.
that sink in.
pressure lights have been standardized parts of a car… routine
lights on a dashboard… for slightly more than ten years. I’m guessing
there’s a good chance you have a car outside your home right now
that was manufactured before that requirement became law. And
if you don’t, you’re neighbors probably do.
not discussing rotary telephones. These aren’t television sets
that are operated without a remote. These are lights that became
standard around the same time the original Iron Man move was released.
(September 2007 for the legislation, April 2008 for Iron Man release.)
such a recent arrival that there aren’t many touchstones you can
look at… items that are part of our normal lives, should be familiar,
and yet might illicit a gasp when saying more people recognize
this than that. And when you consider the relative recent arrival
of the tire pressure symbol and compare it to the frequency of
use, it’s virtually impossible to find something in the everyday
world that works for comparison.
I’m trying to meander with this is: it’s not a story when combined
this way. If you want to say it’s alarming how many people don’t
recognize the tire pressure warning symbol, that’s good. But it
equates to other dashboard items like the meanings of checking
your engine, images of a motor, and other warnings. It might be
more interesting to compare against how many people truly understand
how to use a car’s climate control knobs for specific results.
emojis? That’s not a surprise at all. And trying to say millennials
don’t get it when those older than millennials are even worse,
well, seems to miss the real topics available. Imagine an article
that points out how most drivers… not just millennials, but the
majority of each and every licensed driver… don’t know what dashboard
warnings lights represent. There would be a story.