.....it all started because I bought a car with a G.P.S. Like many men, I quickly established a romantic attachment to my G.P.S. I found comfort in her tranquil and slightly Anglophilic voice. I felt warm and safe following her thin blue line.
Says David Brooks, NYT.
If you mutter to yourself, that’s all rubbish – WAIT! Not so much. I’ve seen this happening in my own life. Not mine, but my husband’s. The first two days he drove to work, he got back home crying at all the humiliation he had to go through just to find out which route and which exit at the next roundabout would get him home. It’s a one hour drive and the instructions from Google Maps were not of much help either.
That’s when we decided to get a GPS. And we did. Next day my husband came home with a big content smile on his face and waltzing with an imaginary partner. The next weekend on one of our usual drives, he decided to christen the lady inside the GPS ‘Babydoll’! He went on and on about her virtues and all the cool things she knew.
Till then I was the official navigator and it was a relief for me as well to just sit back and not worry about the next turn anymore. But, I have never felt covetous before and funny as it might sound, after a few babydoll-invasions in my otherwise peaceful life, something triggered the jealous juice to flow to my mind. And before you knew it, I was jealous of Babydoll and had declared war!
Victory was mine. Familiarity breeds something, doesn’t it? It did that with my husband too. Not many days passed before he tired of Babydoll’s anglophilic voice. And more importantly he realised that listening to the wife had its own advantages that a stooopid babydoll trapped in a box can never compete with – like taking a detour so that you can enjoy those delicious cookies or that Taste-of-India restaurant. Or the brownie points you earn by the number of ‘Yes dear’s, ‘What will I do without you’s enroute.
Babydoll is dead. Our GPS is on mute now. :)
Anyway, since you have a lot of time to read my rambling, you might also want to read this (The Outsourced Brain) - an interesting write-up that points to a future where we might end up outsourcing even our memories and trust some websites to tell us out about our likes and dislikes. Outsourcing your life? Is that where this gravy train is taking us?
I love the new technologies, but always feel a little uneasy when I take notice how much I have ended up depending on them. It’s making my life a better one no doubt, but is there a line beyond which I will lose recognition of whether I am directing my life or whether my life is being charted by these technologies that I love? Are we anywhere near that line?