I am a Lyft Driver. My Passengers Act Like Me About the App
I’m an attentive listener, but sometimes zone out. However, the machines don’t get tired of listening. My gig work introduced me to that. Here is an example.
On December 25, 2020, I was driving to pick up a woman and her mother. When passengers request Lyft rides, they can drag the app’s “location pin” to exactly what they want to get. The pickup location for this ride is not anywhere I can drive my car, even if I get within 25 feet. Riding the two in my car, the daughter told me it was not in the place where she put the pin. He called me every name in the book and asked to “call me Lyft” for a return. The mother essentially started saying her daughter’s name several times, surprised that her daughter did so and begged her to apologize. It will not be released by the daughter. I canceled the ride. I remember how the mother would always say her daughter’s name. I keep vivid memories of very bad passengers. I think that keeping images of these faces increases my likelihood of survival, and some people suggest that it is a symptom of PTSD.
Two months later, I looked at my Facebook feed and saw the woman’s face in my “People You May Know” section. It spooked me. How did he get there? What if he dragged me, wanting to get a different feel about the pin location? I don’t want to befriend him on Facebook or befriend him in real life. I couldn’t help but hear him in the car, and so on Facebook also pays attention. Google the ride can also be tracked.
Thirty years ago, Hanson said, “before there was a lot of surveillance or people’s computer information, when the issue came out, everyone was really worried about it,” he said. Today, people continue to “think that even if they provide a lot of information, it is not being used against them or it will not be used against them.” And it never explains to them how easy it is for information to be shared, he said. In my experience as a driver, when viewed through an app like Lyft, it’s easy to see some as abstractions, less realistic, and treat them accordingly.
I provide an essential service to most of my passengers. For a variety of reasons, they can’t drive on their own, and I serve it as a soup class, albeit ad hoc, service animal. Passengers may have no access to public transportation or may have medical conditions that prevent them from driving. It’s nice to know that I help people get to work or just to get out of their house.
To get the most money in the shortest amount of time, though, you need to get people out of the bars. That’s why alcohol consumption is a factor in so many Lyft rides. The friend sitting next to you at the bar telling you you have enough to drink is replaced by a ride-hailing app that gives you the ability to drink as much as you want because there is always a driver coming to you, how many taps on your phone. Some of the rides hurt me.
My mega-app theory remains the very best explanation that I have to account for the things people say and do in my car when they feel like no one deserves to know what’s around. And the issues aren’t as obvious as the stain left on the amount of sweet-and-sour Instant Pot meatballs spilled on my back seat. These are things like privacy and medical issues, my own responsibility for what passengers do, and maintaining our sense of human dignity.