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hazel 11-30-2018 11:23 AM

People are being rendered helpless by their phones: example
 
Today I was accosted by a young lady who was clearly lost. She was looking for Kenton railway station with a phone in her hand showing a Google map. I told her to go straight up the road we were standing at the head of: up the hill and down again and she would come to Kenton Road; the station was on the other side, just a little bit to the left.

She was unhappy about that. It was the long way round, she said. Google suggested a short cut through an alleyway somewhere in the Kenton recreation ground. I told her there was no such alleyway that I knew of and I've been living here since 1971! But she wouldn't believe me. She said she didn't want to go the long way round if her phone said there was a short cut.

After some discussion, I said to her: "Look: you can see the top of the hill from here. You can see how close it is. Down the other side is the same distance. And then you'll be on Kenton Road. You could have walked it while we've been talking here."

So she finally went that way. Why are people so fixated on Google maps and satnav?

enorbet 11-30-2018 11:40 AM

The cost of convenience is weakness. Use a crutch long enough and one can't walk without one. Use a crutch when we begin walking and never learn how, just like a tiger born and raised in captivity has very slim odds of survival if released into the wild. Nature/Nurture.

hazel 11-30-2018 12:59 PM

That's theory. When you see it in practice, it's frightening. What kind of a future awaits these technology-crippled young people?

scasey 11-30-2018 01:11 PM

The truly sad part, IMO, is that they trust/follow their phones instead of wise little old ladies :)

gnashley 11-30-2018 01:20 PM

Hmmm, while I am convinced that hazel is indeed wise, I wouldn't dare to suggest that she might be either little or old!

scasey 11-30-2018 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnashley (Post 5931966)
Hmmm, while I am convinced that hazel is indeed wise, I wouldn't dare to suggest that she might be either little or old!

Just going by her sig,..🙃

rokytnji 11-30-2018 01:37 PM

Well being a biker. I use my phone a lot.

But I take google maps directions with a grain of salt.
From past experience hundreds of miles from home.

I've been down some pretty hill billy roads going no where < dead ends > .
Listening to Google Maps.

frankbell 11-30-2018 08:32 PM

My neighbors were giving me a ride to pick up my truck from service today. There are lots of ways to get to the service station, as this is an urban area. Neighbors knew where the destination was.

As we neared one stop light, husband said, "Turn right here." (Wife was driving.) I said, "Just go up to the next light and turn right; it's a straight shot." Husband said, "Well, that's where the computer says to turn."

Had wife followed husband's directions, it would have added an extra zig-zag and about a quarter mile to the trip. (Since it was a short trip, it wouldn't have made much difference, but in context it made the drive about 16% longer.)

A web search for "gps leads driver into wilderness" turns up lots of interesting stuff.

Convenience is one thing. Total abdication of good sense is something entirely other.

syg00 11-30-2018 08:43 PM

I have a stand-alone gps - garmin, had it for years. I refuse to tell google where I am all the damn time.

On occasion when we are travelling, I change the mode of the gps so it doesn't stick to the highways - found some interesting little towns we would never have seen. And the country roads are so much more interesting. Except for the bloody roos, but that's another story ...

fido_dogstoyevsky 11-30-2018 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 5931931)
...Google suggested a short cut through an alleyway somewhere in the Kenton recreation ground. I told her there was no such alleyway that I knew of and I've been living here since 1971! But she wouldn't believe me...

My car satnav tried to get me into a river once - fortunately I noticed that the road came to a stop, there was a river just past the end of the road and there was no bridge over the river...

It's not just us here thinking about overreliance on satnav/phone apps.

frankbell 11-30-2018 09:20 PM

It's distressing that some persons will believe their gadgets more than they will believe their lyin' eyes.

hazel 12-01-2018 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fido_dogstoyevsky (Post 5932102)
It's not just us here thinking about overreliance on satnav/phone apps.

That's an especially fascinating article for me because it taps into and explains a difference I had noticed years ago between me and my mother. My mother had a map in her head. My father often joked that you could put her in the middle of Hampstead Heath, spin her around and then ask, "Which way is home?" and she would point unerringly in the right direction.

I have never been able to do that. But in a strange city, I can find my way around by learning a sequence of landmarks and turns that will always get me to my goal. So when we were on holiday, the first days in a new town, I would be the guide. But after that, my mother would take over. "Why don't we go down that way?" she would say. "It's much quicker." She was never wrong.

Not surprisingly, I have always had difficulties with maps. My father eventually taught me to manage street maps by standing on a corner between two known roads and turning the map until the representations of those roads pointed in the right directions. Then I would know in which direction to go to reach my target. Which is what a satnav does more or less.

fatmac 12-01-2018 10:02 AM

Ha, ha, not for me these techno marvels, I've seen people come unstuck, & my mates go the wrong way, when out cycling, only to meet up later, after they had put on an extra 10 miles or so. :)

Map & compass all the way for me.

dugan 12-01-2018 10:11 AM

There were a number of viral stories like this a decade back:

Woman Drives for 900 Miles Instead of 90 Thanks to GPS Error

My comment: I've found that the bike routes that I design for myself, based the city's bike lane map, tend to be safer than the ones Google design for me.

ondoho 12-01-2018 01:00 PM

i have been in similar situations myself, i.e. i was the one asking for directions after i checked it out on OSMAnd, and phone in hand i said: "yes, but OSMAnd tells me there's a shorter route."
to my defense i will say that i was right in the end, there WAS a shorter route.
i was not "helpless".
it is surprising how many (local) people simply stay on the main roads and never wonder if there's a better (faster, shorter, more beautiful) route for their everyday journeys.

that said, i was able to find my way around before GPS, and i still have a sense of direction; i am one of those people who have a "map in their head".

and i've known of people getting hopelessly lost and having NO sense of direction even before GPS in smartphones became ubiquitous.

that said, again, it is definitely true that there's a new helplessness, and smartphones definitely play a role in that.
like, searching your online maps for a way to the central railway station, when you could actually see it in the distance if you raised your head.


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