Over a recent holiday weekend I decided to go visiting in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. A short road trip if all goes well. I planned out my trip using MapQuest. No GPS or smart phone for me. I am a bit slow to adopt new technology. In fact, I fancy myself as a bit of a curmudgeon. I am a bit envious of my ninety-three year old father who brags about never having owned a cell phone or computer. It took years before he would even leave a message on my voice mail. Yikes, I must take after him. Anyway, I packed up the car and took off paper directions in hand. I even made sure I had a map in the car – just in case.
I did really well considering I can’t read without my glasses and I can’t drive with them on. I had to do both to figure out where I was going without stopping the car. I also had to balance my sunglasses on my head at the same time as I was headed due west – right into the sunset. I finally got lost in Whitewater. You may be laughing as this is a small town with only two main roads but MapQuest was taking me on some small country road at this point. That is when I bailed. I pulled over and looked for my phone to call and ask for directions. Alas, there was no phone to be found. I panicked. No phone!? How could this be? I will be stuck in the Wisconsin hills driving around forever! No one will ever find me because I have no phone! This had actually happened to me before.
I had to stop and ask for directions. That was not much help but it did get me pointed in the right direction. I actually had to use the map! With a bit of deep breathing, and a few more wrong turns, I pulled myself together and got going again. It was getting dark which makes reading even more difficult. I knew it wasn’t far but I wasn’t sure just how far it was. Long story short I made it to my destination. My friends and family had almost sent out the search and rescue as they had not heard from me in a few hours!
I was reminded how dependent we are on technology. It turns out I left my phone at home. It was kind of fun having to rely on my wits to work my way out of the situation. Isn’t that what we used to do before we learned to depend on a device to tell us what to do? Even MapQuest has given me bum steers in the past. Why do I keep trusting it over and above my own brain power? It has to be smarter right? Does anyone else still like maps besides me?