My friend was running late for lunch. I mean, really late. Like 45 minutes late. Why? Because her GPS gave her the wrong directions to the building where we were having lunch. I told her where lunch was and gave her the landmarks around the area to make sure she knew. Our mutual friend told her where the building was and gave her landmarks as well. She was still 45 minutes late because of the GPS.
Has this technological advancement taken away the ability for us to use our brains? If you drive, when was the last time you got into your car to go some place new and relied only on your GPS device to get you to where you were going?
It’s the case of reactive versus proactive.
Long before GPS, we would have to proactively plan our route on a map to get to where we wanted to go. I remember having a giant road atlas in the back seat tracing our route from city to city and from state to state. We looked at the map to see where the next rest stop was so we could use the bathroom. We consulted the map to see where the next major town was so we could plan lunch and dinner. We planned our trips in advance, proactively.
Now, when I travel long distances, specifically ones that I haven’t done before, I rely on a GPS to tell me where to stop and pee and where to eat. It is reactive. And heaven forbid if you haven’t updated the map in awhile. I remember being in a town in the middle of nowhere in the USA trying to find a Subway. It relocated since the GPS map had been updated and my husband kept saying, “It must be around here somewhere.”
It scares me how I rely on GPS way too much. If I’m traveling on my own, especially at night, I kick myself when I haven’t put an actual map in the car or researched my route BEFORE leaving. If the GPS is wrong (which happens sometimes) or it doesn’t work (in really bad weather), I’m SOL, as we say (that is Shit Out of Luck for those not from the USA).
And what does it say about us in general when we are relying on some technology to guide us to our destination. Do you have goals? Do you have some place that you want to get to in life? Are you proactively planning that route and that journey yourself or are you reactively relying on technology to do it for you?
For me, I’m going to start being more proactive. Time to get out the map and start planning my next journey.