Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How Did We Know Which Way to Go?

Coming up out of the New York City subway can be very disorienting. Which way is what? How do I get to where I want to be?

Even more to the point- how did we ever manage before GPS and Smartphones with Google Maps?

I was thinking this the other week when I spent a day in NYC with a friend. Then he- a mere young thirty-something- asked me that very question. "How did anyone ever get around the city before these things?"

My admittedly smart alack answer was- "An m. a. p."

But he was right. Smartphones and related technology have made it easier to get around a place like NYC. Need to know what subways go where? Google it. How about the bus schedule back out of Port Authority? Google it? Need an Uber ride? Use the Smartphone app.

People in those prehistoric days probably did have a better understanding of where to go in their home areas. They probably had a map in their head that helped simply because they followed the same routes on a regular basis. Tourists? Well they had to figure it out.

I have seen some thoughts that the use of Google Maps, Siri, etc. have made us too dependent on the technology. We don't know how to read maps like we used to. But it has allowed us to travel new routes, in new places, even in our home towns.

Somehow or another we managed. We are adaptable.

And often got lost.

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