Saturday, April 16, 2011

GPS - Love or Hate?

Do you get lost without a GPS? Or do you have an innate sense of direction, or map reading skills that help you find your way?

I recently got into an argument with my hubbie (we rarely argue) because he wouldn't quit listening to that English woman. You know the one - the demanding voice inside the GPS that says (in a revolting accent) "Turn Right. In point. two. miles. turn right. In one. point. seven, miles, keep left. Keep. Left."

And when you pull into a Burger King so someone *raiseshand* can use the restroom, the woman becomes confused, and the voice gets more strident. "Recalculating" she says, and then "Drive point. four. miles. and Turn Right. Then Turn Left!"

I get so upset at that woman I end up calling her names. "Turn it off," I begged my husband. "I have a map - I can get you there."

But Noooo . . . He is addicted to the British woman in his GPS. Actually I think he's addicted to technology, period, like most of us.

But I worry - not only do I think it's unsafe to take your eyes off the road to keep looking at the little, ever-changing map, but whatever happened to our innate navigation skills? I learned them horseback, riding over mountains and through deep canyons and fording streams and having to find the way home, or else. And I learned them by hiking, and looking ahead of me (and behind me) and learning my way around.

Is technology taking those skills away? Are we becoming incapable of finding our way out of a paper bag without a GPS navigator?

(As for me, I'm going to fix hubbie. If I get my hands on that &*%#$ GPS of his, I'll change the voice to some Australian Bloke. heh heh heh)

What about you? Are you in love with your GPS? Or can you follow directions, or figure out where to go by your wits and skill?


Reddunappy said...

LOL that is hilarious!!!! LOL
We have used the GPS on our Iphones, but they dont talk!! and its rather like a moving map that shows you where you are.
I hope you settle it!!! LOL
My hubby wants one, and I dont, hmmmm LOL LOL

Linda Benson said...

Reddunappy - good luck if he gets one! You know how men are with their toys. My advice - when he first brings it home, play with the menu, and set the voice to something that YOU like to hear (you know, a sexy man's voice, or something) :))because, trust me, you'll be hearing a LOT of it.

Anonymous said...

In Seattle recently, I was driving and my husband had his GPS and my son in law, in the backseat, had his GPS. Hubby says stay right and son says stay where you are. It became quite tense so I followed the road signs (road signs...what a novel idea) and stayed where I was.

Danette said...

The thing I most dislike about these GPS people is how rude they are! We can be driving along in a really good conversation and the rude GPS person breaks in with demanding directions.'s hard enough to remember what I want to say. By the time the GPS is done ordering us around, I don't even remember what we were talking about!!! :(

Gone2theDawgs said...

I must admit I enjoyed my Aussie man that gave me directions. :)
Unfortunately I now have a new GPS and the Aussie man isn't an option :( I rarely look at the map and just go on their verbal suggestions.
My innate skills can definitely be lacking sometimes and the GPS has become a time saver if nothing else. I guess growing up in the desert it was easier to get my bearings...the trees get in the way up here.
The things I don't like about my GPS? The "recalculating" when I know of a quicker way, they can be inaccurate and of course I agree with Danette, they are rude when you have company in the car. :)

Linda Benson said...

Anonymous - haha. Yes, road signs - those old fashioned things! And what is it with men always thinking that women don't know where they're going? As a woman with brains, I have difficulty with that one.

Danette - yes, that voice is rude and grating. Conversation, what's that? It's usually interrupted by someone getting a call or text on their cell phone.

Wrensong - I had a bad opinion of GPS thingies from the start, because they always bring people a strange way to our house (not the directions I'd give), they often don't work well out in the country, and sometimes, they're just plain wrong! But I'm going to have to get one with an aussie voice - that's true ;)

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

This is too funny, Linda. I must admit that I'm rather dependent on my GPS these days (I've been driving in some totally unfamiliar areas for book events). It usually gets me where I need to go, but more than once it's taken me through some REALLY bad areas in the process. I sort of have a love / hate relationship with my GPS.

Dreaming said...

Enjoyable post!
I love my GPS, but like Cynthia, I've grown to depend on it and that's not always a good thing.
First, when I moved to this area, it took me a long time to get the 'big picture'. I saw the city in small chunks and it took a while to discover the relationship between roads.
Secondly, sometimes it takes me along a very strange path that actually is miles longer than a way I'd choose to go without using it.
Until the advent of a GPS in my car, I had really good 'seat of the pants' reckoning and could navigate easily almost anywhere. Now... not so good!