GADGETS and GOOFINESS
now maybe it's just me being crabby
again, but what is the big deal about
GPS? I don't get it. Are
maps really that confusing and complicated
(although I'll admit to having a bit
of difficulty folding one up now and
then)? Do you really need that little
voice telling you where to go?
(for a lot less I'd tell them where
to go). Have we, as a society,
become so reliant on gizmos and gadgets
that we've forgotten how to live without
them? I am always amazed, when,
first thing in the early morning,
I turn out of my street to go to work
and encounter someone on a cell phone
while driving. WHO ON EARTH
ARE YOU TALKING TO? You just
woke up! And, why couldn't you
have said what you needed to say 5
minutes earlier, before you left the
house? Are you avoiding using
a landline for some reason?
It's idiocy, I'm telling you. Have
we really become a society so fixated
on gizmos that we've forgotten how
to do things ourselves?
Nearly everyone I know has hands free
cell phone thingies in their cars,
along with GPS and satellite radio
and Blackberries and day planners
and everything else technology can
offer. One friend just chucked
her Windows-based computer life and
bought an iPad. And these people
still can't get anywhere on time or
without getting lost! In short,
the ones that need all this junk can't
use it and the ones who can use it
don't need it in the first place.
I bet cavemen said that when the first
wheel appeared on the scene.
Don't get me wrong: technology
is a good thing and without it we'd
all still be driving horses and buggies
instead of Bugs. But GPS is
just a little too space-age for me.
Whatever happened to spreading out
a map and just finding out where you
are, or where you want to go?
Wait, don't tell me: no one can read
after graduating school anymore.
Or maybe it's because folding up that
map is so intimidating. I don't
know. Whatever it is I'm just glad
I'm not a part of it.
I do realize I am, by far, the exception
rather than the rule in this.
But don't worry, I am used to being
the exception. It seems to run
in my genes and I've become (in my
older age) quite proud of it.
In answer to the unspoken question,
NO, I do not still have an 8-track
tape player in my car; in fact, I
never did have one. I'm still
a fan of my old cassettes, but I have
a CD player in the car I drive daily.
We watch color TV (oooooh!! Imagine!),
call people on our push button phones
(yes, the house has more than one
and we got rid of the rotary dial
phone years ago, even though I protested
as it worked perfectly), and I have
nearly worn out my digital camera.
No film for me anymore! Heck
I even have a cell phone that I have
been known to use now and then.
But I draw the line at GPS.
I am not so stupid that I need some
mechanical voice telling me where
to turn. And, I like to keep
the brain cells I still have in good
this be the end of the brain, as we
know it? With all this modern
thinking for us, can the evolution
of the brainless human be far behind?
Oh yeah, no, it's already taken place,
and They are among us. You can
spot them a mile away: car pointed
in the direction they want to go,
computer voice blabbering directions
at them, glassy-eyed stare over the
steering wheel, cell phone plastered
to one ear. California's recently-enacted
law requires all drivers to use a
hands-free device (Bluetooth or the
like) if they wish to talk on a cell
phone while driving. But get
this: TEXT MESSAGING is OK!
What lunatic thought this law up?
Here in the state of California I
could tell you exactly which one but
then I'd be sued, probably.
UM excuse me but don't you need hands
for driving, not to mention at least
part of a working brain? And,
again, who are these people you are
texting and why can't that message
wait? I heard recently that
savvy teens now have a word for it:
driving while inTEXTicated.
We can only hope that the rest of
the young people (and, for that matter,
anyone who texts while on the road)
take this term to heart. Studies
prove it's as deadly as being inTOXicated
behind the wheel. Now, when
you get a new cell phone, you can
do things with it you didn't even
know you wanted to do! Send
and receive email? There's an
app (application) for that. Take and
download pictures onto your computer
from wherever you are? There's
an app for that. Open your car
door when you've locked yourself out?
There's even an app for that.
And that's only the beginner stuff.
Well, excuse me, but I don't WANT
an app for anything! I wanna do it
myself. And in this case I don't
wanna do it at all.
Do we really need all this technology?
Must we embrace the next new thing
totally and with lighthearted abandon?
As a technophobe married to an engineer,
I have seen the past (part of it anyway),
and I have glimpsed the future (as
far ahead as I dare look without scaring
myself to death). Hey, if remaining
the same for over 40 years was good
enough for the Beetle, it's good enough
for me! I just think - and have
always thought - that, while change
should be encouraged and supported,
change for changes sake is not a good
thing. The mobile phone industry
has proven that, over and over again.
Why was this lunacy ever allowed by
law? There is a simple fix for
this problem and that is to install
scramblers on all new vehicles.
In other words, put a device in the
car that will render a cell phone
useless while the vehicle is in motion
and/or the ignition is on. I
have heard these devices already exist,
and are installed in some fancy-schmancy
restaurants to keep patrons from blabbering
through their meals (and ruining yours).
But the big question remains:
why do we have to be told this stuff?
Do we really need government regulating
when we can talk and when we can't?
Shouldn't we know better ourselves
when it's OK to make a simple phone
call and when it's not? It shouldn't
be that complicated! But I guess
nowadays, when you need a synthesized
human voice to tell you where to go,
you might just need some law telling
you not to drive in the first place.
I wonder if there's an app for that.