Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get Lost

                        Today I had to run some errands one of which was to pay a traffic ticket. I am not familiar with the courthouse and decided to use our GPS system which I have never used before. I was driving along when I heard the automated voice all but shout at me "TURN LEFT!" and eager as I was to please the demonic voice-in-a-box I couldn't turn left. There was no road for me to turn on. I glanced at the paper that had the name of the street scribbled on it and saw that it was just up ahead. As I approached the turning lane I braced myself for another verbal lashing but heard nothing. According to the GPS I was turning onto nothing and the image in the screen showed a little arrow representing me gliding above what looked like a desert.
                     I was on the phone with my girlfriend at the time and she heard the verbal abuse I had to suffer. We started laughing at how crazy all this technology is. Even with Google Maps, Map Quest, and GPS, I still have to write down directions and I often get lost. Especially since many newer streets don't even show up on the online maps and they never indicate the right or left side of the street as your destination. All those stupid online maps say is the name of the last street you have to turn on and how far you have to go. And without a left or right clarification I almost always drive right by whatever I'm looking for, because according to Map Quest it should have been in the middle of the road.
                     After I reached my destination I chatted with my friend for a while and we came to the same conclusion. There is no way artificial intelligence will ever exist. Our technologies are as stupid as their creators. I still can't get a soda machine to take a dollar bill let alone get a GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM to globally position me and my destination. A navigation tool that couldn't find a court house but managed to find my last nerve. There are people in Japan that are making responsive androids yet I'm an arrow flying across a desert. Really???
                    I love technology, I love MP3 players and hand held video game systems, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my computers. But I hate GPS, Google Maps, and Map Quest. I'm convinced that these devices were created by men to tick off women. Instead of asking for directions like women advise, they create a navigation tool that makes me feel like a fool. I did derive some pleasure in explaining it's operation to my husband though, I felt smart, that is until I actually had to use it myself.
                  Now I'm back home, typing on my laptop, listening to my MP3 player, with my camera phone and Bluetooth next to me. See? I'm a tech kind of woman. But if I need directions, I'm calling the place I need to find, asking for landmarks, asking which side of the street is the building on, and jotting it all down on a scrap of paper. That way I will know not to expect a building in the middle of the road and I won't have that demonic voice-in-a-box yelling at me. And if I ever find that witch that they use for the GPS voice and that horrible self check out lane at the grocery store (I'm convinced it's the same creep of a lady) I'm going to walk right up to her and smack her for yelling at me and trying to get me lost.

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