Friday, April 10, 2009

Don't Get Lost, Now

I had a meeting on Wednesday morning at the Harvard Club in NYC, with Susan W. Bird. I've been a number of times before, for other meetings - but I always get confused on whether it is on 44th or 45th. So, I googled it on my bb.

And I thought...huh. I really can't get lost anymore. I have a TomTom in my car, I can search for anything via mobile, anywhere I go, and pull up a map if needed. I can't get lost. Actually, that means most people I know can't get lost.

Okay, who can get lost? Well, my mom. She doesn't do the tech thing so much. We take care of a cell for her, but let's be honest...she calls me on it, and she certainly isn't going to be doing any typing on a mobile device - she doesn't have a regular email address. (Please note I'm not poking fun here; she'd be the first to tell you the same thing.)

Susan and I had an interesting conversation about it - what that means, and how it will be so strange to my children when I recount some "old" anecdote about how their dad and I got lost somewhere and they'll say "well, how did you do that? Was there no wifi or cell service in that area?" Actually...they probably wouldn't even have that issue. Le sigh.

(On a side note, Susan is fascinating, and has a fascinating company, wf360...check it out.)

So then I came home at the end of that day, and thought about it a little more, and I recall my daughter's Christening last fall. A relative got lost on his way. There was some ensuing impatience with the fact that he's "old school" (sans mobile) from certain members of my family. And how there is no it almost seems ridiculous.

Did we lose our patience that fast? Did we all just lose the opportunity to get lost and actually find something new in the process? Good, or bad? Or....both.


Kwana said...

It's such a strange and sad new world that our kids will never know. LP's, Pay phones, Stopping for directions. So many of life's good and simple things. I gave a lady a ride home the other night from down in soho and had to find the highway without my GPS and she was amazed that I did it. It was fun to follow my instincts.

Debra said...

This is too funny. I can get lost going to the market in my own town! My son gave me this same gps for Christmas. LOVE it! Now I can't get lost, even if some days I'd like to!

googs said...


You could have said the same thing 40 years ago with regard to the rise of direct dialing. "Sigh, my kids will grow up never knowing the phone operator connecting the calls." If you think about it, how many times have you gotten lost but discovered something new? I would say that 98% of the time you got lost you were on your way some where, running late, and increasingly frustrated.

N said...

I guess Googs is right (heck, he deals with this for a living), and that there will ALWAYS be something that you can say something about..."remember when."

I think back to one particular time we took a trip to LI to visit friends. I have no idea what we did, but we got completely turned-around going back to the highway and wound up getting onto it via a very thin service road - probably illegally so. He and I fondly remember it with a good laugh. So maybe we didn't find anything new but a good story that day.

So then the next question is...are we really completely better when we're error-proof?

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Not better when more error-proof, but definitely more efficient! There are so many days I say, "How did I EVER get my job done without email and a cell phone?!" I used to have a bike messenger at my office several times a day to send things I now email...crazy...

BUT with efficiency comes the laziness of which you all speak. I just go where Tom Tom tells me to. I miss getting lost on long and winding roads...or not knowing that I'm 2.8 miles from myy destination. As with everything, the beauty is in the journey. :-)

pve design said...

I loved Lily Tomlin and the "Operator" - I am glad that I am not the only one to get lost with the aid of a gps.
I do have a keen navigation sense, and always know when I am lost!