Two days ago, on a trip back from the Carousel Mall in Syracuse, my best friend’s GPS tried to kill me. Like that episode of ‘The Office’ when the vague directions of Michael Scott’s GPS send him and his loaner car into a lake, our machine sent us into the scary backwoods of Marathon, N.Y.
After the GPS told us to turn onto a street that had no physical existence and was actually a creepy dirt driveway, my two best friends and I spent 30 minutes driving on a lane-less, lightless dirt road. All because the gas light on her PT Cruiser went on and we had to get off of I-81.
The lesson learned? Humanity needs to wean itself off of technology’s breast milk or else, as my boyfriend preaches, the ‘Terminator’ movies will really happen.
I am a guilty party, an addict to technology. Instead of waiting to log onto Google to figure out an answer to one of the many questions that pop into my head throughout the day, I now text my question to ChaCha to receive instant gratification.
After years of using T9 on my phone, a single remark about the creepy Artificial Intelligence aspect of its ability to predict your words now frightens me. All of my friends know about my unhealthy obsession with Lady Gaga, but it’s more than slightly unsettling when my phone writes ‘Gaga’ every time I try to write ‘Haha.’
The newest addition to the cell phone universe includes the Droid line of phones, which is basically propaganda for a machine-ruled world. The Droid phones can do everything, they boast applications that trump the iPhone and are now feverishly promoting their new capability.
The new Droid phones can scream.
For the absent-minded like myself, the idea of a phone that can scream when lost sounds like the perfect solution. Who enjoys that feeling in your stomach when you can’t find your phone and realize you have it on silent?
But then I realized that I don’t like the idea of a phone that can scream. It even says ‘FOUND PHONE’ in huge letters as soon as you press a button to cease the screaming. It’s the equivalent of a lost child wailing at the top of his lungs in CVS because mommy left him to get foot cream. It’s all a bit too human for me, including the fact that they decided to call the damn thing ‘screaming’ instead of ‘ringing.’
And by the way, if machines don’t turn into hostile robots that attack mankind and turn us into Triple A batteries, the mere use of technology will kill us anyway. Cell phones are linked to both brain cancer and driving like you are legally blind.
Before the GPS tried to send me into ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ territory, some idiot was going 55 mph in the left lane on I-81 because he was texting. With both hands. Without his headlights on. In the dark.
That is going to get someone killed.
Even walking has become a safety hazard. I faceplanted into some kid’s backpack the other day because he stopped dead while walking in the Union to read a text message. I walked into him so hard I had a headache the entire day. The zipper went up my nose and I drooled all over the water bottle pouch. This all happened because North Face backpack man was so floored by the contents of a text message that his feet instantly grew into tree trunks.
That text message better have said, ‘Hey it’s Dad. I’m banging your girlfriend.’
Despite these technological dangers, I know that I’ll get home tomorrow and turn on my Xbox while simultaneously sending a picture of my eyeball to my little sister and watching some viral video on my laptop.
But maybe next time I go on a road trip I’ll print out directions instead of using a GPS. Unless MapQuest can no longer be trusted either.