Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why are you offended by my GPS?

I have a GPS.  And I use it.  Not to get to the grocery store down the block or my son's pediatrician, but if I'm going to a shop I've never been to or an office in a different part of town, you better believe that thing's up and running.

Especially when I'm out of town, I have a tendency to program every destination into my GPS when I'm the driver.  Lately, I've noticed a trend that I find quite confusing among my friends and family: there are a lot of people who seem to be offended by the GPS.  They sit in the passenger seat, sneer at the pretty little black screen a few times, and then say something like,

"Wow, that's a really stupid way to go.  I NEVER would have told you to go that way," or

"You could have just asked me, I knew where this place was all along," or

"I know my voice might not be as charming as your British robot's voice, but I can give directions."

They act like I'm insulting their knowledge and expertise just by using my turn-by-turn navigation.  Like I don't trust them to get me where I need to go.  Frankly, I just don't get why it's such a big ego blow for me not to ask for directions.  

Perhaps I don't understand it because I like to chat with people as I drive, and I'd rather just let the conversation flow than have to ask every three seconds, "Am I supposed to still be going straight?" or "Am I in the right lane?  No, I know I'm in the left lane.  I didn't mean the right lane, I meant the correct lane."

Or maybe it's because almost every time I'm responsible for giving directions, I get too busy jabbing away at the driver and we end up going two miles past our on-ramp before I declare, "Oh crap! I should have had you turn a while back.  I guess we'll be taking the scenic route."

All I know is that I like my GPS.  And I don't plan on giving it up any time soon.  So, should you ever be in the position where you need to ride with me and I type in the address to your house when we get in the car, just let it go.  If you're nice, I'll even let you change it to the sexy Australian girl's voice instead of the British guy.  Cheerio!


  1. I love how my GPS says "In a quarter mile, turn left on..." then all of a sudden "take a sharp right onto..."

    Whoa, really? You want to make me seem like EVEN MORE of a lost outsider??? OK! *turns right*

  2. I would love to be a software programmer for one of these things. Instead of hearing "recalculating" for the umpteenth time, I'd program it to say, "OK, Mr. Smart Guy! You think you know better? Tell you what, why don't you just crawl up your ass, trust your papier mache homing pigeon instincts, and I'll just shut myself while you try to program the frikkin' cigarette lighter for help. Good luck with that, Columbus!"
    Yeah, that'd be sweet.

  3. I am like you... I *LOVE* my GPS when I'm going somewhere I've never been. I don't use the "real" GPS though... I use my cell phone version. I will definitely have one built in on my next car though!

    I wouldn't sneer at you - I promise!

  4. Agreed. GPS is the way to go. Sorry to anyone else who disagrees.

  5. My GPS's voice is Darth Vader. Nobody argues with that.

  6. My American Uncle's like that a lot. So long as you get to the destination the rest doesn't really matter so I hate people who complain like this.

  7. They come in sexy Australian? My brother laughs a bit when I tell him I'll need a GPS. But that's just because he says he doesn't need one. I have no sense of direction though. Most of it comes from idiots who drive into rivers and such because of them. It's just a case of the minority ruining it for the majority.

  8. I don't drive much, but if I did I would love a GPS. I'm useless with directions!

  9. I get the same reaction when I use my GPS! People always act like they know better than the GPS and are offended when I choose to follow it instead of their directions. Sorry but I do trust my GPS (although not enough to follow it into a lake or anything).

  10. Recalculating...

    I will recalculate with my GPS all day long! It was invented just for people like me (and you apparently)

  11. That's really funny! See, I would LOVE driving with you because I have absolutely no sense of direction whatsoever. This causes me no small amount of anxiety when someone happens to (make the colossal mistake of) ask me "uh, so which way do I go?" GPS solves that problem beautifully, and then, like you said, you and the passenger are free to chat!! People are odd... ;-)

  12. I need that sign for my road. :)

    Sometimes I wish there was GPS to navigate my son's bedroom. Really. It's that bad.

  13. I know people who argue with their GPS too. I don't have one cause I think I'd be playing with it too much, but I should get one. They're useful contraptions, and I have a terrible sense of direction. :)

  14. I hate being the passenger and trying to give directions! I forget and my voice is not that sexy - British or Australian :)

  15. I'm not offended by your GPS! I'd totally set it up with my GPS.

  16. I ADORE my GPS. Well, adored. Her name was Samantha. She was British. Then someone stole her. My husband gave me his, which is the exact same model. But it's not the same.

  17. @Lost: Yeah...they're definitely not good for everything. Especially not remote locations. But I have a hard time making decisions, so I'd rather listen to a machine to make them for me.

    @Al: That actually would be pretty dang sweet.

    @Toqua: Deal! You're invited to be my passenger any time!

    @DWei: Yup. Pretty much what you said.

    @Heather: Awesome! I know I wouldn't argue with Darth Vader.

    @Yeamie: That's right! It's the destination that counts!

    @Mark: Exactly! GPS doesn't have to equal no common sense.

    @Bobo: It's definitely the way to go.

    @Kyle: I'm with you! I'd definitely rather listen to my GPS (minus driving into a lake).

    @Momnextdoor: You and me, sister!

    @Crystal: Seriously! People are odd.

    @Julianna: LOL! You crack me up.

    @Laila: Yeah, it's definitely hard not to play with it. But, I usually do ok.

    @Mary: Haha! I'm sure your voice is very sexy.

    @K: You're on. Or rather, your GPS is on!

    @Stephanie: Oh no! Poor Samantha! That's so sad.