It was time for my mom and I to hop in the car and start on the road from Florida to Minnesota. I have a road trip system. I mapquest my route and then I follow along on a regular map. I have these wonderful laminated maps I buy every time I enter a new state. I have my mapquest to give me the main plan but then I am free to follow along or redirect as I see fit with my trusty maps. My mom on the other hand plugs in her trusty GPS and actually forbids me from buying a map when we stop at a gas station.
I know what you are thinking. Old school. But I am not old school. That would be calling AAA and having them put together a map plan. Or even older school would be figuring it out myself with an atlas. I came of age as programs like mapquest were getting popular and I feel very modern to use them.
Back in the day when a person got their driver's license the parents bought them a Hudson map to get around town. (OK some people's parents did that. Mine just hoped I had been paying attention.) This Christmas in anticipation of Jake getting his license we did the more modern thing and bought him a GPS which he has made good use of since getting said license.
Back to Florida
So there we are, driving out of Marco Island, and the GPS did not want to direct us. We drove about 30 miles while my mom fought with "Sally" her electronic tour guide. Luckily there is only one way off the Island and it was pretty obvious we were going to need to go North.
As my mom struggled with the GPS I had a thought about all this technology. I knew that if I wasn't driving I might be able to figure out the problem faster than she could because being younger than her I have had much more exposure to computers over the years but then I realized that if Jake was there he would probably be able to just tell us what to do without even looking around because his level of computer understanding is going way beyond me. While I have been using computers since I was around his age, he has literally been using computers since he was a couple years old.
Recently the family was at the mall and we stopped at our handy dandy Verizon booth to contemplate our options on the upcoming scheduled upgrade. We are thinking about getting rid John's blackberry and moving to an Ipad or Galaxy Tab or something like that for internet and go back to a regular phone. John and I have a vague understanding that you can go on the internet, check email and play games with the things but don't really know much about them. There were 3 models as we walked up. John grabbed one, Jake grabbed one and Isabelle grabbed the third. Within moments Isabelle was playing a game and Jake was browsing the web while John and I were staring at the 3rd device and asking the Verizon guy how it worked. John accidentally touched one button and suddenly he could see himself on the device. Amazing, does this mean I could skype on the thing? It never would have occurred to me that I could do that or to want to do that. It made me wonder what else the thing could do that I would never do because I wouldn't know it was possible. It has me thinking...are we smart enough to own advanced technology?
I guess we will keep stumbling forward and 10 years from now when I am fighting with the latest gadget which I am trying to figure it out, I can look forward to Isabelle rolling her eyes and pulling out of my hands in frustration, fixing it in a moment and tossing it back in my lap.