Social Question

MarcoNJ's avatar

GPS...a Godsend or an annoying device you happily live without?

Asked by MarcoNJ (946points) April 28th, 2010

To this day I have never purchased nor desired a GPS unit for my car. Pricing has absolutely nothing to do with it, cause I’ll splurge on nonsense. But, whenever I go anywhere new, I still do it ‘Old School style’ and print up a map. I like navigating myself, not some device telling me which way to turn.

Besides, I’ve tend to believe that people become so reliant on GPS, that if the unit broke, they wouldn’t remember the route….. no matter how often they took it before.

What’s your take?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

zophu's avatar

I want one grafted into my brain.

cfrydj's avatar

I happily live without it whilst remaining un-annoyed.

MebiByte's avatar

I use GPS for a great treasure hunt game called Geocaching. Check it out: Geocaching

Other than that, I will just print out a map. I don’t think it’s that old school. You could be using just a compass.

Fly's avatar

I personally have a good sense of direction so I would have no need for a GPS on a day-to-day basis. However, I think that a GPS would be very handy if I got lost, was going somewhere I knew absolutely nothing about, ran out of time to get directions, etc.
While MapQuest and other such things are functional, they’re not exactly safe to read while driving, and are often a bit outdated. GPS, on the other hand, is always up-to-date because it uses satellites, and says the directions for you so you don’t have to constantly be looking. And if you do get confused, you can look at the GPS and it shows you exactly where to go. And if you somehow mess up your directions, it immediately gets you back on track.
I think it’s a pretty handy gadget overall.

zophu's avatar

@MebiByte Internet run GPS treasure hunts sounds like a good way to get raped. Or mugged for your GPS.

Fly's avatar

@zophu There’s actually an episode of Law & Order SVU episode where a girl gets raped and murdered at a Geocaching site.

chyna's avatar

I have a bad sense of direction, can barely find my car in a parking lot, so I would love to have a GPS. I’m waiting until the price goes down.

mrentropy's avatar

If I’m taking a long trip I prefer having a GPS. Saves me creating danger by trying to read a map or directions and taking my eyes off the road. Especially at night.

Also, it’s handy to see what streets are coming up when you can’t see the signs because a) they’re hidden by trees b) it’s dark c) some nut stole them. In fact, today I was using it just as a map and had to make a turn onto a road (I wrote the directions down), but the street was named something different but the GPS identified it as the street I wanted. Saved me a lot of time I didn’t have.

syzygy2600's avatar

Get too used to using a GPS and you won’t be able to walk two blocks without it. Then what happens if you loose it or it breaks? I get around just fine with maps and street signs. If all else fails its not that hard to walk up to someone and say hey buddy, where’s X?

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t have one and have no plan to acquire one.

mrentropy's avatar

I used to have my GPS unit set up with a female voice, but it kept directing me to the closest gas station so I could ask for directions.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Wow, I’m really excited to meet other people who have never used a GPS. I don’t own one, I have never owned one, I don’t even know how to use it. And I’m not interested in trying. I’m sure they are useful – but I’d hate to rely on something electronic for so long that I don’t know how to function without it.

netgrrl's avatar

I don’t have one in my car. But I consider it a real convenience if I go somewhere & rent a car.

For everything else, I find maps on my iPhone works nicely.

ShiningToast's avatar

I use it when on long trips in new places, but if it somewhere I’m relatively familiar with I print up a Google Map just in case. I like maps.

I could never live without the Google Maps function on my iPhone though, it has saved my ass on countless occasions.

mrentropy's avatar

Oh. So to answer the question: I don’t think it’s Godly or annoying; just a handy tool when you need one and not mandatory if you don’t.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Don’t have one, don’t need one, don’t really want one. I’ve gotten this far without it, both where I live and when I travel – I’m pretty good at finding my way around. A map is usually all I need though for off trail hiking it does hold some allure.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@mrentropy Lol at the female voice unit.

MebiByte's avatar

@zophu Geocaching has an iPhone app, so you don’t have to have your GPS mugged, you can have your iPhone mugged! Also, the GPS I have is really old, so no one would want it.

@Fly O.O I must have missed that episode…. walks away

MarcoNJ's avatar

@MebiByte I never heard of geocaching until this post. Not something I think I’d be interested in, but if it has its own iPod app….it must be pretty popular.

deni's avatar

i hate them. the voices are more annoying than….anything….and i prefer atlases and regular maps. i find them really interesting. if i’m really in a bind i’ll use the maps feature on my phone, but i hate gps’s with a passion. they have never done me any good. most of the time i plan to use one it ends up in the glove box for a year.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I find them quite useful. They are no substitute for a little bit of area knowledge and a healthy dose of common sense, but I find it easier to glance at something on the corner of my instrument cluster than to pick up a piece of paper and study it trying to figure it out, especially with the way people drive around here. And try finding a particular street number on a busy street without blocking traffic or getting rear-ended (or shot).

Plus, they come in really handy when trying to find a side street at night when you are on a main drag that is too fast for you to read the signs before they wind up in your rear-view. With a car that has a 60–0 MPH distance of nearly 200 feet (about 1–½ times that of a modern car, or roughly equivalent to a fully-loaded 1-ton pickup truck), having a warning of an upcoming turn is essential.

I think what the real problem most people have with them is the same problem many people have with technology in general; they never bother to learn how to actually use them and wind up frustrated that the machine cannot read their mind.

@deni That is why there is a volume setting; you can mute the thing.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think they are great. The one in the car always gets me where I want to go and I don’t have to stop to consult a map, just plug the addy in and away we go.

I also have a hand held that I use when I run. If I am running in the bush I don’t have to worry about getting lost and wandering forever in the wild. If I am running in the city, I don’t have to try to remember if I turned right or left or at which intersection.

I love technology!

UScitizen's avatar

My GPS is neither of the two options you have offered. It is simply a very useful tool. I have found it to be most useful on cross country travel. The ground speed read out is more accurate than my mechanical speedometer. It really shines for mapping when I am forced by an accident or traffic to alter my route mid-stream, without prior planning.

Provlear's avatar

My GPS has helped me not get lost a million times over, but I will admit that I am seemingly learning little about my routes, and without my GPS I am at more of a disadvantage than I would be if I had been toughing it out all these times.

But isn’t that like saying you’re better at lighting a fire if you have never used matches? At some point, you’ve saved more time using matches all along.

jerv's avatar

@Provlear Considering what happened to me last time I tried a map (a 35-minute trip turned into a 2-hour ordeal, including one wrong turn that I couldn’t undo that took me 10 miles out of my way), I think I’ll stick with the GPS for now.
Plus, by ignoring it’s exact instructions and using the scrolling map as a guide, I’ve found a few alternate routes even in areas I’ve never been in before; very handy considering how Seattle traffic is and how many dead-end streets there are here. And it’s handy if you get shunted into the wrong lane, can’t merge, and are forced into making a wrong turn (also common here).
Just remember that it’s a tool, not a substitute for actual navigation skill.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther