I am not anti-technology. I swear I’m not. I have a full-feature smart phone. I work on a laptop every damn day. My Android phone is synched up to my MacBook Air.
I use Chromecast to watch Netflix that I control through my phone. I have some social media apps. (I don’t use them, but I have them.)
I am massively pro-tech, in fact. I ordered Taco Bell the other day. From my phone.
But, man, I do not trust GPS.
I know that there are people that can’t live without it. Won’t live without it. They stick their phones on their dashboards and push a button to bring up Google Maps every time they go to Kroger … the one that they go to three times a week. They wouldn’t think of making a left turn into their driveway without getting an OK from the GPS lady first.
(I know GPS voices come in male, too, and sometimes with accents and all that. I downloaded one with Morgan Freeman the other day. Got to learn to use it. The default, though, is always a woman.)
I have, of course, used Maps myself, plenty of times. In Atlanta. On trips. It comes in handy. It’s guided me around traffic jams a few times. No denying that.
But, in the end, I don’t trust it. Worse, it makes me nervous. Blindly following some disembodied voice does that to me. Reminds me of dark bars in college with women of questionable repute.
My buddy Jack and I used to talk about being a “map guy.” You either are or you aren’t. Map guys take out a map before they go someplace. They study it. They figure out what the main roads in an area are, and which way they run. They know north from south. They have a feel for where they are in a city, at least in a general manner.
They like doing it, too. It’s in their blood. It puts them in control. It gives them a sense of place.
GPS guys … they swear by their tech. Which means they’ll pull a Thelma & Louise without ever realizing it. Or a Michael Scott. (Classic “Office,” that one. Good for a laugh.)
I’ve tried to give GPS a chance. And I’ve taken the long, long way around a few times when I knew — I just knew, dammit — that I should’ve gone the other way.
But, you know, that GPS, it’s a computer. It’s smart. Me, I’m just a man who doesn’t know north from south.
I hate when GPS makes me doubt what I know to be true. I think, say, that maybe I read the map wrong before I left. Maybe Ms. GPS sees traffic jams or something. Maybe she knows something I don’t know. So, too often, I get cuckolded into some bizarre route and, suddenly, I’m 15 minutes late for an appointment because this wench took me 10 miles out of the way.
I listened to her. I trusted her. My fault.
The only joy I get out of GPS nowadays is purposely ignoring it. She tells me a route. I go my way. She freaks out and tells me to take the next right. I stay on course. She tells me another way. I go my merry way. Finally, like it was her idea all the time, she tells me to “stay on my current route.”
Thanks, lady. I will.
The point here is, if you’re a map guy, you have to trust your instincts. Use GPS as a backup, not as your primary navigator. And do what you do; look at a map before you go (paper or online, doesn’t matter), find the main routes, memorize it, see where you’re going, go. Write down turns, if you must. But do what you want to do.
If you’re not a map guy … well, good freakin’ luck. You’re stuck listening to some strange woman in a strange town tell you what to do and when to do it. And that, my friend, never works out well.