Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear Mr. GPS, we're through

When I was growing up, I learned how to read a map.  Actually when we went on a family vacation, I often got to be the navigator.  My dad was the pilot and I was playing co-pilot.  My mom and brother probably fought in the back.  I'm not really sure if it's learned or if it's innate but I somehow ended up with a great sense of direction, a navigational beacon, if you will.  This sense has provided great help to me over the years.  Especially when driving in a new area that I am unfamiliar with.  I always like to know which way is which, unlike my mom who does not have that sense of direction.  She was so excited when she got a car that had a display with which direction she was going.
Sure I've gotten lost before a few times but I knew how to find myself.  I use the technique where I would drive in a specific direction to get back to an area, landmark, or crossroad that I was familiar with.  Before the world of GPS, I would use a map or look up directions on Google or MapQuest.  These worked wonders.
Then we entered the such-a-wonderful-world of the GPS.  Or so we thought.  I resisted for many a day, week, month, year.  But alas, moving to a new area proved to be a challenge.  I was still living life without said GPS, but my parents in that sneaky way they have, bought a GPS for "themselves" and it consequently ended up in my possession.  My mom was worried that I would get lost in the big city.
I was going to return it, but then they bought a new one.

I know a lot of people swear by GPS's, they don't know how they lived without them before, they need them.  But me, well mine kind of drives me crazy.  I think it causes problems in my life.  First of all, it broke and lost all its maps the first month I had it.  After spending almost an hour on the phone with tech support, I had to return it anyway.  And then the direction giving....Grrrrrr.  I always find it is best to take the simplest way there.  For example, do not take me on a ton of back roads with stoplights, too many turns, and slow speed limits, when there is a perfectly capable 4-lane roadway right there.  Obviously stopping at those stoplights creates a lot of delays.  Duh.  And I would prefer to drive faster than 35 mph.  Just saying.
And I cannot figure out how that stupid estimated arrival time works.  It's like it's messing with me.  When I drive the speed limit my ETA actually goes up.  But when I speed the time does not go down. Nearly never.  It's liked it has learned that I speed all the time on occasion.  I don't get it.  
I think I am going to pawn it off on my brother.  I'll take the good ole days of Google maps to find where I am going.  Or if all else fails, I will just ask for directions.

What do you think about GPS? 
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