General Question

bkburbo's avatar

When you watch a movie/tv show, or travel to a new city/place, do you notice your "instincts" telling you which way is North?

Asked by bkburbo (251points) October 1st, 2008

I’ve started to realize I do this unintentionally when I watch movies or arrive somewhere new (usually via plane). Does anyone else notice this? How do our “instincts” go about this, particularly if we have no other frame of reference (besides comparisons with other places)?

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22 Answers

Judi's avatar

My husband has a built in GPS. I get backwards and upside down ALL THE TIME!

MrItty's avatar

I don’t even have an instinct as to which way is north in my own driveway.

deaddolly's avatar

I have no idea where I am right now, much less in which direction north is….

tinyfaery's avatar

My wife has a great sense of direction, except in San Francisco. She insists it’s because the city is not on real land. I, however get turned around in a parking lot. I often cannot find the place I parked. Sad. :(

Les's avatar

Being from Chicago, I have had a great sense of direction because of the lake (Michigan). It is to the East. It is funny because no matter where I am in the world, I can tell which direction is which by imagining where the Lake is in relation to where I am. I know, sounds crazy. But ask another Chicagoan. I’m sure he’d tell you the same. I live in the mountains now, and even though there are GIANT mountains to the west of town, I still use the lake as my reference.

augustlan's avatar

I wish I had that instinct! I could get lost in a paper bag. I have friends who always know which direction to head in.

wundayatta's avatar

I can’t get lost. Believe me. I’ve tried. I want to get lost. I believe in getting lost. It’s how you find the most important things. :(

But I’m confused about the question. How does a sense of direction apply to a movie?

bkburbo's avatar

@ Daloon: I just mean that when watching a movie/film, my instinct determines which way is North in the movie (in each scene of the movie).

mea05key's avatar

i tend to find a map and look for my north. And if really there isnt any frame of reference i would follow the traffic or to places which are crowded with people.

ccatron's avatar

nope, unless i know the time of day it is and the sun is shining

gailcalled's avatar

All the women in my family have the “getting lost” gene. My ex could be dropped somewhere from a plane blindfolded. He’d get his bearing in about 5 minutes. So peculiar.

It’s easier on a clear night if you can find the North Star. City lights usually make that impossible, however.

squirbel's avatar

I’m pretty sure I saw some moss growing on the lightpost.

I swear.

scamp's avatar

I don’t really understand the part of your question that involves watching tv or movies, but I seem to be pretty good at finding North. I use the sun to get my bearings during the day and the North star at night.

gailcalled's avatar

@Scamp; Unless it was either cloudy or you didn’t know the time (during the day).

MacBean's avatar

I’m like daloon and gail’s ex. I’m always elected the navigator on trips because even if we get lost somehow, it’s noticed and easily remedied within a couple of minutes.

gailcalled's avatar

@MacBean; Can you explain how you know? Is it a gift like perfect pitch or being able to draw hands?

scamp's avatar

@gailcalled even during a total eclipse I’ve been able to tell where the sun was. And I usually have a pretty good sense of aproximate time. I’d have to be awakening from a coma to not have some idea of what time of day it is.

MacBean's avatar

@gail—Apparently so. I have no idea how it works. All I know is, it’s never failed me. Not even when I’m in a place that’s completely new to me.

gailcalled's avatar

@Scamp and Mac: I am jealous. They are useful intuitive gifts.

susanc's avatar

MacBean, how do you determine if your sense of movie-north is correct?

(Separately) @Les, I know what you mean! I moved to Michigan from the E Coast when
I was 24 or so, and when I would ask directions people would often say,
“Well get on this road and go (x) miles east.” I would flinch and say, “Are you kidding?
You’d fall in the ocean!”

wundayatta's avatar

I’m pretty sure it has to do with paying attention. I look at a lot of maps, so I have a sense of the overall relationship between things in the world. When I’m driving or walking, I keep track of the turns and keep a general sense of what direction I’m going in.

When I was six or so, I remember riding in the car through a very deep fog. I watched outside, but there was nothing I could see. It was night, and I was sleepy. At one point, I woke up, and it seemed to me that no one was driving the car. I remember thinking to myself that if I had to figure out how to get home, I couldn’t do it.

From that time, I have had the heightened awareness of my surroundings. I always know where home is, and how to get there. Not that I always want to go.

fireside's avatar

Birds, Salmon and Cattle all have a magnetic sense of direction, so I don’t think it is unreasonable for people to also have that sense. Some people may just be more attuned to it than others.

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