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Uber didn’t actually invent anything, they marketed the illusion that the world revolves around us – a self-aggrandising trick that the world is on-demand for me, and yes, I really am the one in control, it is all about me, isn’t it?
Well actually, far from it!
That’s why there’s often a disproportionate outburst when an Uber driver cancels (a regular occurrence). Upper-case screams of “How dare your driver cancel after I’ve been waiting 15 mins”, can be seen all over Twitter.
So what’s gong on? When an Uber driver cancels, unconsciously, we suffer from what’s known as ‘Narcissistic Injury,’ where our delusion of grandeur and entitlement is stripped away. Think of it like this, if we get rejected by someone we find sexually attractive, it’s (intra-psychic) impact on our sense of self can make us feel worthless, ugly, or unwanted. This blow to our omnipotence, forces us to readdress this horrible feeling of humiliation, by seeking out what’s (conversely) known as ‘Narcissistic Supply’.
Unlike those with ‘borderline’ personality traits, who are more likely to self medicate with alcohol to sedate feelings of unworthiness, we narcissists might go and have sex with an ex, a prostitute, or as many people as we can. By doing so, we regain our sense of self importance, thus restoring psychic harmony.
As far as Uber is concerned, we are a little more limited as to what we can do to readdress the balance. We respond with the only option available to us by rejecting them. Further screams of, “I will never use your sh*t service again’ flood Uber’s Twitter page.
With that we regain a degree of control.
We probably fall short of deleting the app altogether, because we might need to draw on the illusion of ‘It’s all about me’ at some point again in the future. We’ll cling on to a lot of things that hide us from the realisation that we are futile.
With Uber’s “everyone’s private chauffeur” I couldn’t possibly be merely data, where my every move is tracked for their benefit and not mine, could I?
So you see, it’s all about feeling in control and avoiding losing control, when in fact, we were never in control to begin with.
So where does this leave that Last Bastion of the British Empire- London’s Black Cab drivers? Well, for starters, there’s a far superior app, specially tailored for London, that utilises the services of fully vetted, fully insured, ‘‘street-wise’ black cab drivers only. That aside, the reason why SatNav systems & Gizmos will never replace The Knowledge is;
Passenger: “Can you take me to the famous blue door is please?”
Driver: “Which one sweetheart? 93 Chester Square or 280 Westbourne Park Road?”
Even if I am vague or confused or unsure of where I want to go, the black cab drivers comprehensive understanding of the great metropolis allows for a deductive where, invariably, he knows the destination even without me even having to name it. So, I am reassured to know that I’ll get to where I need to be. The question is, does this make me feel more in control than I would using a smartphone gizmo only?
The reality is that in both cases I relinquish a degree of control to the person driving me. This is a valid position in many areas of our lives, and with that comes the small matter of trust.
Now, out of the 2 services, who would I trust to get me where I need to be, when I need to be there? Unreservedly, and without hesitation, I’d choose the black cab driver…every time!
Ahh! It feels good asserting my control.
Good old fashioned narcissism- you can’t beat it!