Communication — or Lack Thereof

Have you ever realized how little you know about so many things? I learned something today about my car — and communication.

The picture below shows what popped up on my car’s dashboard halfway through a 50-minute drive this morning. The little orange icon didn’t blink but it didn’t go away either … and it scared me because I had no idea what it was. And honestly, with the exclamation mark in the middle, it looked like a punctuation mark.

Danger! But from what? Why?

Everything in the car felt, looked, and smelled fine, so I kept on driving, asking my hard-working guardian angel to just let me get to my destination safely, where I could find out more about the light.

When I got there, I showed the picture I took to my friend, who immediately knew what it was.

Low. Tire. Pressure.

Uh huh. Doesn’t that icon just scream “Low Tire Pressure” to you?

Doesn’t to me, either.

If it’s something important, why wouldn’t the designers make these icons look more like what they represent? Couldn’t the words “tire pressure” or “low tire” have been used?

George Bernard Shaw’s saying fits here: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Lesson learned: The way we see things is not always the way others do. It’s important to check …