I am GPS stupid – Don't ask for directions

by Robb Sutton

I had a friend ask me  a question the other day that should have had an easy answer.

Which way did you come to get here?

It took me a second and then I realized…I had no clue how I got to where I was standing. About 3 years ago, I received my first GPS unit as a Christmas present. Ever since then, getting from point A to point B has been as easy as hitting a couple of buttons. Now…it sounds crazy…but I am really GPS stupid. After using a GPS unit for 3 years straight, I no longer have any clue where I am going. What used to be simple questions about street names, what is located at the next turn or how to get to a restaurant are now difficult feats of mind dumping as I attempt to figure out where my mindless driving was.

Does technology keep us dumb?

As I started to think about it, the question hit my head…does technology keep us dumb? When you think back on all of the advancements that make our lives more efficient and easier, do you think they are actually holding us back in some way? You no longer have to know…

  • How to cook food thanks to the microwave (about the only thing I can cook is meat on the grill, cereal and eggs)
  • Survive a cross country trip – There used to be a time when it took a year to get there and you lost half of the people along the journey.
  • Answer a phone without knowing who is on the other end – Remember when caller ID first came out and it was a premium service that require an extra, external box?

I am starting to think that natural selection and survival of the fittest are no longer an issue as we continue to make everything easier on ourselves. Of course, all of these advancements in technology allow us to live healthier and happier (some would argue this) lives, but at what cost to the median intelligence level of the general public.

Are we going to get to a point that we no longer have to think for ourselves at all? That would be a weird world as you wake up in the morning with zero thought process and everything is already done for you. Hell…I don’t even have to start my coffee as it is! Next thing you know…there will be something that lets my dogs out for me too! Ah…the life of a lazy ass, technology dependent humanoid!

This entire article can also be taken as highly hypocritical on my part as I am a tech junkie that drools over the latest and greatest. Oh well…shit happens…

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hillarie June 19, 2009 - 9:34 am

Caller ID is still a “premium” service that I don’t pay for =)

Mike June 19, 2009 - 3:48 pm

All I can say is that my old phone had a kick ass GPS and my new “smart” phone has a lower quality version of GPS. Since, I got my new phone, I’ve learned a lot more of the streets and how to get around a lot quicker.

Josh July 29, 2009 - 5:00 pm

The thing with GPS devices is that people start driving into lakes, going to a city 600 km away from the intended destination (due to a typo), and demolishing the wrong house.

One can argue that we no longer need to know how to trek through the wilderness. But I think it would be a good idea to know where you are and where you came from, and how to get back. 🙂


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