Chapter 3: Me and My Model 3

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My Tesla Model 3 made me happy again. Before I got it I would dread getting up in the morning. Things just seemed to get worse every day, so I never really wanted to wake up. As soon as I got my Model 3 I was excited to wake up every morning for the first time in a long while. How can you not wake up excited when you have a Tesla?

The car was just groundbreaking on so many levels. It was the first affordable electric car that was better than a gas car in every way. You could finally switch to zero emissions and not miss a thing about fossil fuels, even on a road trip.

It was immediately clear to me that this was an iPhone moment: This product would change everything about the way we live. Its mere existence upset the socio-economic and political world order profoundly. From top to bottom, inside and out, the car was made with love and designed with empathy and care for the customer. At a time when I needed help the Tesla team designed something to help me, even though Tesla probably doesn’t fully appreciate how much they transformed their customers’ lives with this product. They know what features they built, but they don’t know our individual stories. When times were tough, the car came as a godsend to make my life easier.

The Model 3 was beautiful, and it was fast. Oh man, it was fast. Put the pedal to the floor in a Tesla, and good luck trying to stress about anything. It’s like having a personal roller coaster to help you run errands: All day, you have a big smile on your face. At a time when I felt powerless, the instant response of the Model 3 made me feel in control. I’ll never be able to adequately thank the thousands of hardworking people who put everything on the line to bring the Model 3 to market, and build me that car.

It’s impossible to drive a car like the Model 3 and not be hopeful about the future. Air pollution, emissions, and car crashes had all seemed like intractable problems that were impossible to solve. Now out of nowhere, here was a credible solution… or at least a solid first step in the right direction. At a time when I felt hopeless, the car made me hopeful and excited about the future again. The story behind the car inspired me and made me want to get to work on something meaningful too.

Gone were the days of sitting at home and being sad. I was ready to go somewhere –– anywhere –– as long as there was an excuse to drive. My friends and I explored the world and took spontaneous trips, all without spending a dollar on gas. With no combustion engine, the car had tons of space for all our stuff in the trunk and the frunk. We had some great times in that car, going on adventures that were sorely needed as a reminder that life could be beautiful.

When I was sad, my Model 3 sang to me. Its 14 speaker sound system produced a truly magical, almost spiritual experience as I was driving –– especially when Autopilot was on. In tumultuous times that sound system really makes you feel something.

As I ran back and forth between Silicon Valley and Los Angeles trying to figure out where I belonged, that was one part of the car that helped keep me sane more than anything else. I remember breaking into tears on the highway and feeling the car’s Autopilot system hold my hand, gently keeping my car in the lane and protecting me through the dead of night while Tesla’s immersive sound calmed me down. Every once in a while there’s a product that helps you so much that you form an emotional connection with it. That’s what happened with me and my Model 3. After everything we went through together, I really fell in love with the car. Many other Model 3 owners will tell you I wasn’t the only one.

I had a Twitter account pretty early on from when the service opened in 2006. In fact, the first software I made that ever got covered on a blog was a Twitter client integrated with iChat that I released on my 13th birthday. I hadn’t really ever tweeted much before, but started following Elon Musk to stay updated about Tesla. One day I replied to one of Elon’s tweets with a photo of my car, telling him how much I loved it. What happened next really surprised me.

A swarm of anonymous troll accounts with names like “Elon Bachman” started replying to my picture. They told me that I was an idiot for buying a Tesla, and that it was a complete piece of shit that would soon fall apart. They insisted that Tesla would soon be bankrupt, and when that happened I would be “totally screwed”. Most importantly, they all agreed Tesla stock was headed to $0 and that anyone who thought otherwise didn’t understand finance. They insulted me, Elon Musk, and other Tesla employees and were generally rude, demeaning, and extremely condescending. I was confused: Why were all these anonymous troll accounts spamming my replies with so much negativity about Tesla? From my experience driving the car, most of what they were saying seemed completely untrue. I decided to follow them, and try and join the conversation.

Read Chapter 4

Aaron Greenspan has filed an illegal SLAPP-suit against Elon Musk and Omar Qazi for bringing attention to allegations of tax fraud, securities fraud, cyberstalking, and criminal harassment by the Think Computer Foundation (doing business as PlainSite). If you can please donate to the Legal GoFundMe or via PayPal to make sure Aaron Jacob Greenspan is finally held accountable for his harassment of so many Tesla customers

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