You can thank my friend Vee for instigating the rant that is to follow. Read her real life adventure here:
GPS Adventure from Hell
RANT BEGINS HERE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I appreciate technology. It can be wonderful. You can find your way anywhere using a GPS.
Maybe. Maybe not.
It might get you to your destination in the end, but the trip might turn into a little more adventure than you bargained for. At the very least a GPS can be an annoying device that makes you want to poke your eyes out with sharp sticks.
My sister borrowed her daughter's GPS system for our recent trip to Tennessee. We've made this trip a thousand times in our lives but we hadn't driven the route in three years and intended to take some side trips. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Shows how wrong you can be.
My trusty atlas was sitting on the table the day I left and in my haste I forgot to grab it. Mistake number one. I'm a very visual person. When I look at a map my mind registers the information and my inner direction finder records and processes the info and sets my inner compass.
We set the GPS and off we went. And then we heard the device say: "In 75 yards, turn left. Take the highway."
Yes, take the highway. Take the highway. Take the highway. Take the highway. Take the highway.
Well, you get the idea. After three days we swore that if we heard that term one more time the GPS was going to be taking a trip of it's own - out the car window.
This device was totally frustrating on many levels. You can only see a certain distance ahead, no matter how you adjust the unit. You can't get the "big picture".
The voice is annoying as hell. No matter what language.
When trying to find the new location of a quilt shop in Tennessee, we were treated to a dizzying, twisting route that took us into a residential subdivision. We were surprised to find the quilt shop now operating out of a home. The GPS got us to our destination in the end but the problem for us seemed to be that we were being asked to put our fate into the hands of a machine.
That's a problem for me. Think about the computer HAL in the movie 2001: Space Odyssey. Think about that creepy voice saying, "That's right Suzanne. Turn left and drive off the cliff".
My sister and I swore no more GPS for us.
Which brings me to fact that I love low tech. If your fancy schmancy electronic gear breaks down, what are you going to do? Do you have the ability to go low tech? Do you know how to do the math without the calculator? Does anyone do long division any more? How about work a sliderule? No batteries required.
Everyone knows my love of vintage sewing machines. You can run over them with a truck and they'll still sew. Beverly has been proudly sewing since 1961.
Can't say the same for my electronic Brother whose brain fried in one year!
MORE HIGH TECH RANT - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Now I'm going to talk about social behavior in the electronic age. A.K.A. - MANNERS!
My mother taught us manners. Manners count. Manners help keep a society civil. Manners show respect for other people.
We need to write a handbook of behavior. I'll share my number one pet peeve. Please feel free to add to this list.
#1 - I appreciate the fact that you have the latest, greatest, slick-as-oil cell phone, BUT... when you are in my presence, be present. Be in the moment. Pay attention to our conversation, our lunch, our dinner... whatever. It is totally RUDE to launch into a texting session in the middle of a conversation with someone. If I am your boss and you launch into a text session in my presence, you're fired. If you launch into a text session when we're having lunch, I'll walk out, leaving you with the tab. If you launch into a text session when we're having a conversation I'll become very, very quiet. This is not a good sign. Soon after, something will go flying. Perhaps it will be you super-duper cell phone flying across the room. I repeat - IT'S RUDE!!!!
It's my belief that there's really no benefit to being wired and available 24/7. It's a constant streaming of information and images that never let's your brain catch up. There has actually been some research that says that your brain needs a certain amount of downtime to process. That's why computer's were designed to clean up and rearrange files in it's offline time. This mimics the brain's activity. But when you're available and streaming video and audio constantly, your brain runs the risk of overload.
SENSORY OVERLOAD FATIGUES THE BRAIN
I'm sure there are other rule of conduct for the electronic age. Do you have any suggestions, pet peeves?