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Lost No More, I Have An Android

Updated on May 13, 2015
macteacher profile image

Wendy has been teaching technology and writing for many years. She loves animals and is a practicing Buddhist.

Technology Rules!

I stumbled upon a life-changing app yesterday on my new android. I sort of knew it was there, people have mentioned it, but I never took the time to check it out myself: The Navigator app. My phone can help me find things. This is a huge discovery. This will open a whole new world to me.

This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it’s a turning point for me. You see I am one of those people who suffer from a missing inner compass, no internal navigation system. I was born without a sense of direction. Unlike dyslexia, I can sort of get by and hide my shortcoming, but over the years those closest to me have been directly affected by my little problem.

This is what a normal map looks like.

This is what I see when I look at a map.

Maps...who needs maps?  I don't need a silly map.
Maps...who needs maps? I don't need a silly map. | Source

A Life Without Direction...

There was the time I got so lost on Long Island trying to find Farmingdale that I showed up three and a half hours late for my college friend’s baby shower. Just as I arrived, everyone got up and left.

Then there was the harrowing trip to the Cross County Mall in Yonkers, New York. I had just gotten my first car and I talked my sister into taking a little trip for an hour or two. The mall was only 10 minutes from our apartment. We got there ok, but on the way home I got west and east mixed up.

Three hours after leaving the mall we were still driving up and down the parkway, looking for the right exit and running low on gas. She kept trying to tell me where to exit, but I refused to listen. I am of the belief that if you drive on any highway long enough, the right exit will turn up. To this day I can still hear my sister’s tortured screams from the passenger seat: “You are SUCH an idiot!”

It Gets Worse...

It took her a while to recover from that trip, and she vowed for a long time to never get in the car with me again. However, things come up and my mother assigned me the task of getting my aunt to Newark airport for an 11pm flight back home to San Jose. My sister had her misgivings, but being the trooper that she is - she decided not to leave my aunt to fend for herself.

I was positive I could find Newark airport. I vaguely remembered seeing some signs for an exit to the airport. I remember thinking, “this is a fairly straightforward trip, if I just go over the George Washington Bridge, it should turn up. How hard could it be?”

So the evening of departure arrived – we piled in the car and headed to Jersey. Two hours later, while we were happily chatting in the car, I became alarmed. For some inexplicable reason the road signs indicated our approach to the Delaware Gap. It slowly dawned on me that I had missed an entire state and was headed straight for the wrong one. I stalled as long as I could, but at some point I had to break the news. The car got quiet.

Now my aunt is a very nice person but she tends to be a little high strung. When the stress gets unmanageable she tends to chain smoke and ask the same panicked questions over and over. When she hits overload, she stops talking altogether and just sticks to smoking.

She lit the first cigarette. “Whaddya mean Delaware Gap? What happened to the airport? What happened to New Jersey? Didn’t you get on the Turnpike?”

“The Turnpike! I was supposed to get on the Turnpike. I had a feeling I missed something. Oops!”

“Whaddya mean ‘oops’? My flight leaves in an hour!” She lit the next cigarette.

So we spent the next two hours driving up and down some unnamed highways. At certain points in our journey we could see planes taking off from what we assumed was Newark Airport, but we couldn’t find the exit. By now my sister was suffering from PTSD and my aunt had stopped talking altogether. She just sat hunched over in the back seat quivering and smoking.

By some miracle I finally found the right turnpike and the right exit, although my aunt’s flight was long gone. She had turned a weird grayish green color - whether from stress or too much nicotine, I’ll never know for sure. My sister was slumped over the dashboard. I think she had just given up.

We finally found the departure gate and left my aunt curbside around midnight. I later heard from my mother that our little mishap added about 18 hours to her travel time, but she was able to get some connecting flights, and she got to see some airports she’d never seen before. How cool is that?

I think when I moved to Manhattan and had to give up the car, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, but they were too polite to say anything.

Can't draw or drive.
Can't draw or drive. | Source

A New Life

Now, thanks to my new Android and Navigator App, getting lost is no longer an issue. I can calmly and confidently leave the house without wondering where I’ll end up. No more climbing out of the subway and marching north when I should have headed west.

Loved ones will no longer have to worry that a cryptic text, “I may be a little late. I think I missed the exit,” means they may never see me again. My days of aimlessly wandering the streets of New York and the highways of the Tri-State area are officially over. Now I have a little machine that tells me where to go and how to get there.

Now if I can just find someone to drive to the airport.



© by Macteacher 2013


Now where did they put Greenwich Village?
Now where did they put Greenwich Village? | Source

Comments

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    • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Golden 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank grand old lady. It was fun to write, and unfortunately, it's all true. :-\

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Well, I'm glad you now have your Android App. This was sooooo funny. Voted up, and happy driving.

    • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Golden 

      5 years ago from New York

      Hi Andy,

      That is a fascinating observation. I do believe technology is making us dumber. However, as someone who can never remember a route I've taken, even if I've done it 4 or 5 times - GPS technology is a life-saver. I guess my brain is on a need to know basis. Thanks for reading the hub! :-)

    • Andy McGuire profile image

      Andy McGuire 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Haha, excellent hub. It was funny and charming. Did you know though that technology like GPS and search engines are making us stupider? Over-reliance on these affects our brain's ability to create memories because it doesn't feel it needs to remember things that can just be looked up.

      For example, in the past you could travel to one destination twice before remembering exactly where it is, but recent studies are showing that it now takes many people 4 or 5 times, in short succession, to remember because they use GPS, which forces the brain to ignore the route taken. It's like if you were raised with servants cooking all your meals and running all your errands, if they ever left, you'd be helpless.

      I'm not sure what the long term ramifications are, but it is pretty fascinating.

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