While I can get easily turned around and reading a map can make me go cross-eyed, I can usually get myself from point A to point B. However, many of my friends and family would struggle to find their way out of a paper bag so I can appreciate how helpful mapping applications can be for people.
While I’m thankful to have these mapping apps, I’ve noticed that many (you know who you are) have become so reliant on them that they have either lost what little sense of direction they had or they suffer moments of extreme stupidity; hence my new acronym for GPS - Getting People Stupid.
I’ve had friends intending to drive to Portland, ME end up just outside Albany, NY (FYI – Albany is 3 hours west of Boston and Portland is 1+ hour northeast). Friends have missed the exit to their home. And I’ve had friends pass by shops they wanted to visit because they were directed to the same franchise further away. Why would one use a mapping app for well traveled / familiar journeys or get into their automobile for a road trip without even the faintest understanding of where they are driving or how long the trip might take?
I will admit these do make for good stories, but is asking someone to have self-awareness when driving too much to ask? Next time you feel the need to use your mapping app ask yourself this question: Do you know where you are going? If not, look at the mapping route before you get in the car or better yet, simply turn off the device and follow the road signs. I’m sure you’ll find your way – after all that is why we spend so much money putting those big signs up over the highway… think of them as pre-GPS mapping technology.