Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do you need directions?

Who directs you?

Many many people nowadays own and use a GPS in order to get around in their motor vehicles. There are various makes and models on the market but the basic mechanism is the same, you plug in the address or the co-ordinates and hit 'go' and it calculates the route and proceeds to direct you to that destination.
Depending on the settings you set on the device, it may take on the shortest route in terms of time but it may be a little further in distance and vice versa. You can also choose to avoid high traffic areas or choose to go on freeways etc.
For various reasons, I do not use one. Having said that I used one successfully the other day to get to an appointment in an area that I do know well. Once I go somewhere - I can generally get home. Just for interests sake I used it to get home. What a nuisance. I will say that they are useless in a situation when you know where you are going. Anyway, I took its instructions to a point when it was taking me through some dangerous areas. All along I am spending a lot of time watching the little screen which takes my eyes off the road. Then I started taking a different route (to get into an area that I feel safer!).
At first it was fun to see how fast it would say 'recalculating' and where it would direct me next. It got to a point where I thought device was going to start steaming and explode. It was getting angry with me! Eventually the lady and the device gave up and just kept repeating 'recalculating' and 'if possible make a U-turn'. This device was not able to calculate another route even though I was only about 500 meters off its chosen path. While this is going, I was getting agitated and spending more time with my eyes on the small screen than the road!

Another thing that upset me about the experience was that the device was not able to be heard over the radio. It was not a built in model and the music had to be really quiet for it to be audible.

At the end if that journey, I was not relaxed at all and quite unsettled actually and consequently will only use a GPS device if I have to and only to a destination which I am unfamiliar with. Who directs you when you know where you are going in your motor vehicle? Next time you go for drive - engage your brain!

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