I hate GPS the way some people hate paperboys. You know what I’m talking about; that little white envelope, the hope for a tip, a reminder that you’re a horrible person because you’ll never – EVER – tip the paperboy. GPS is like that. It brings up your insecurities in this mindfuck backdoor fashion, all sweet on the outside but rotten at the core.
It started in Fargo, when the crew decided to travel with one. Her name was Karen, she had an Austrailian accent, and I hated her. I mean, Fargo is not a complicated city to learn – it’s basically a big grid, no one-ways – so I found their reliance on her not only pathetic but also personally insulting. I consider myself a good navigator, and it bothered me to have my position usurped by a satellite-driven voicebox. The kicker came when they enlisted her for directions to the restaurant we’d go to almost every night. Literally, from our hotel it was right left right go over the highway destination on left. COME ON. I do miss my job very much, but Karen… that bitch can go screw.
Happily now, Katsu and I have a GPS of our very own! In the Smart Car! Hooray! She doesn’t have a name yet, but my husband is at least as reliant on her as DSP was on Karen, and I am similarly afflicted with arrogance and misplaced rage. I feel that the GPS erodes one’s ability to put things together for oneself, to make mental maps of one’s surroundings, and that VOICE. Oh God. So bossy and annoying. I’ll use my iPhone any day for help with directions, but I’d rather set myself on fire than turn to the GPS.
I know that this might be alarming to some people. I might lose some friends here. So many people have GPS – love GPS, that I often feel part of a distinct minority. But I maintain that our reliance on such toys will eventually cause humankind to lose our inborn senses of place and movement. Like the little toes, over time they will wither and die. Consider this, before you turn on your TomTom to get to the grocery store or your sister’s apartment.
And seriously, I know I’m not the only one who feels that way about paperboys.