Damn you GPS!
I'll be honest with you, technology is not my thing. I don't have an iPad, iPhone and iDon't-know-what. Not even a GPS. I just traded my old Samsung flip-flop phone for a brand new Nokia with touch-screen and so many useless applications that drive me crazy. It's safe to say that I'll never use half of them. But it does come with a navigation feature, and I was curious to find out how it could enhance my driving experience.
The trial by fire took place last month when the entire family headed to Ontario to visit my youngest son's godmother. I took care of the driving part and my sweet husband programmed the GPS on my phone because, as I've just said, it's all Greek to me. What better way to become familiar with the system than to try it out in familiar territory?
As we left the house, the female voice told me to immediately turn left, drive for 200 metres, and make another left turn. Oh boy! My patience was already starting to wear thin, and the highway was still a few kilometres away! I wanted to take the usual route, but I was redirected to the Oka-Hudson ferry instead. Since we were in no particular rush, I decided to comply and see where it would lead us. Who knows? Maybe the trip would be shorter...
Note to self: Always make sure that the ferry is open before departing from home. Luckily, I knew the area pretty well, so I quickly proceeded to an alternative route, only to hear after 50 metres: ''Turn right, then, turn right.'' Are you kidding me? I can't take the ferry; it's closed!
This time, I didn't listen to the voice and kept going forward, which amused my 3-year-old boy who started echoing the repeated instructions of the GPS. At last, the system searched for a different route, yet seemed hell-bent on taking every freaking ferry on the way. I began to seriously lose my cool and asked my husband to shut it off.
About an hour before arriving at our destination, we turned it back on to see how the system would cooperate in a different province. Mission accomplished! Heck, we even took a little shortcut!
Clearly, technology and I don't go hand in hand. I grew up with paper maps and I've never had a problem finding my way. Even though my husband and I both own a smartphone with integrated navigation, we still carry our good old maps.
Sure, technology is nice, but it's also fallible. And you can't always rely on gas station attendants as a backup. Plus, when the kids get bored, they can track our progress on the map!