Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pet Peeves in the Modern World

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.


I'm sure there are other rule of conduct for the electronic age. Do you have any suggestions, pet peeves?


chocolatechic said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhh the whole texting makes people disconnected.

Becky K. said...

My husband turns off the voice and just follows the mapping on our GPS. That way he is spared both the nagging voice and my mimicking of it and laughter at all of the bad pronunciations.

Becky K.

Vee said...

Just lost a comment with a "service unavailable." Currently, Blogger is very high on my list of pet peeves, but it's not nice to bite the hand that feeds you.

Great GPS story, but sorry that it was such a pain. Until reading my comments yesterday, I had no idea that there were so many horror stories. As someone suggested, it's a darned good thing that my mother wasn't alone.

(Thanks for the link, too. ♥)

And I totally agree with the texting issue. People are becoming more and more rude. Excuse yourself if you must text please...don't do it in front of me. Perhaps the air will be filled with flying cell phones one day.

Lisa D. said...

Oh my goodness, I so totally agree with you I could go off on my own long rant! I will just add one of my own: the confusion most people seem to have with need and want lately. A bigger house, a tropical vacation, another and newer vehicle, the latest gadget,etc, etc. - these are not NEEDS. These are wants. And being constantly connected becomes a need. And texting constantly is a need. It all drives me crazy.

Lisa D. said...

By the way, I took inspiration from Monday's gallette and we had a delicious supper. Thanks! Now tonight we are having Chocolatechic's Poor Man's Steak.

Karen said...

My 85 year old Dad and my stepmom told me last weekend that a cell phone rang twice during church service - they were appalled (and so was I). I cannot imagine why anyone would want to have their cell phone with them at a church service, with the remotely possible exception of a doctor on call or law enforcement official (and then the phone should be on vibrate/silent).

Belle said...

I agree with you about the texting. It is rude. We have a GPS and have found if a new road has been built, the GPS will steer you wrong.
Sewing machines: The best one I ever had was originally my mother's, a Sears Kenmore. We used it for 30 or forty years between us. My Brother broke after two years and now I have a Singer that is doing well, 5 years so far.

Steph said...

When I worked with the public (at a college bookstore and drivers license/car tag office), I could not stand for people to be on the phone when they came up to the counter. You never knew if they were talking to you or the person on the phone. You feel stupid if you start talking to them and they aren't talking to you, then they think you're rude if they're talking to you and you think they're not! Argh!

Denise said...

Here's just a sampling of the "technology rudeness" I have experienced so far today (and it's only 9:30)! On the bus this morning, three people were having cell phone conversations, each one practically shouting. None of the conversations were about anything important ... "Yeah, I'm on the bus. I should be there in 10 minutes." ... "Oh my good, he's like so cute." ... "Okay, I'll meet you at Starbucks." After I got off the bus and was using the crosswalk to cross the street, a woman who was texting slammed into me. I kept moving over, but I walk with a cane and can't move very fast. So she walked right into me, then gave me a dirty look and muttered an obscenity like I was the one in the wrong. When I finally made it to my office building and got on the elevator, a guy who was texting got on behind me. I have to insert a key to get to my floor, so I was juggling my cane, my keys, a coffee and my briefcase. Mr. Text Message said "2 please", to which I responded "Sorry, my hands are full. You go ahead and press it." Of course I got another dirty look and muttered obscenity.

MelissaD said...

I totally agree about being in the present. I am on my phone at times when I am out as my job requires it (I'm often on call). However, I make a distinct point of excusing myself to take work calls. If I'm on the phone with my kids or someone and I'm at a counter in a store I'll tell the person on the phone that I'll call them back so I can speak with the live person in front of me!
My real peeve is the huge number of people I see here in California driving around holding their cell phones up to their ear - it's against the law here and drives me nuts! I have a bluetooth just for that reason (again, work calls) and it only cost me $25 - get with the program folks! And it's scary to see so many folks driving around looking down while they're texting or some other thing while driving.
And yes, I still have my Mom's old Sears Kenmore machine - which has been in use since the late 50's and still works better than my recent Brother machine.

Jodi said...

My biggest pet peeve is folks talking on their cell phones in public restrooms. Not only is there the sanitary factor to consider, it's also RUDE to bring an unkown 3rd party into the restroom where someone else you don't know is taking care of business that can only be described as personal.

Leslie T said...

Amen and amen. Preach it, sister!
I totally agree with all of it!

Rose said...

My pet peeve is the driving and talking/texting on phone. I have had so many people run me off roads that it isn't even far it has always been where there was room to get out of the way...though the first time I was on a bridge and almost ran out of room.

I feel like the first thing that should be checked after the people are taken care of in a wreck is to see who was on a cell phone....I hate to think how many are caused by them.

I do not know why they cannot design a cell phone that turns off when moving....

Millicent said...

Bravo, Suzanne. I, too, love my atlas. GPS or not - an atlas is best, if for no other reason than to check the GPS which as you point out is NOT always right. I have my mother's Singer featherweight sewing machine. She sewed many clothes on that machine. She received it from my grandparents soon after she married my dad, and it's the only machine she ever owned. And...lastly, we need to get some cell phone etiquette out there. Too bad Emily Post is no longer with us. She'd whip 'em into shape.