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September 4, 2019

Is GPS ruining our minds?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:58 pm


GPS machines are causing us to think less, notice our surroundings less, and calculate less. Sure it is nice to know the most efficient way from point A to point B, but it is also nice to find things ourselves.

Conversely, I think that finding addresses used to be very hard in the old days. I would need a military flashlight at night to find numbers on houses, curbs, or mailboxes. GPS makes it easier to pinpoint what part of a block you are going to.

I guess I personally like GPS a lot because I travel to many cities, and it is hard to have maps to all of those cities. I remember my last trip to Texas and I drove from Los Angeles to Dallas to Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth and then OKC. What a crazy trip. It tired me out. I might do it again but not for a while.

I find that once I have been to a place enough times, I no longer use GPS, even if it is far from home like El Paso. I just learn my way around. The hard part where GPS really helps is cut off streets, weird and unexpected locations for entrances to highways, and what to do when your street is shut down (happens a lot in El Paso.)

I am a map lover, and will always be. GPS or not, we still need to know how to read maps and coordinate our trips the way we want to. Over dependence on technology seems to be a limitation for our own development as a general rule.

As a final note, mobile notaries have enough to deal with, and GPS relieves most of the navigation headache. Back in the old days we had to follow constellations to figure out where the signing was as well as smoke signals. What do you guys think?

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  1. I still rely on Google maps. Sometimes I will copy the map, transfer to a Word document–I use IrfanView to paste a PrintScreen, btw, and it is a free download–go back and really zoom in to see the streets, and then type out directions bc Garmin doesn’t scream at you to tell you that you past the house, and it is sometimes a little bit vague. I use my short term memory to help me find somebody’s house, but sometimes you discover a street/road sign is missing. Using maps I have Really gotten good with directions and with map reading.
    ALSO, I do many, many rural closings and GPS will take you on roads that are marked, “Do not drive on when wet,” and 2 lane country roads that become 1 lane country roads. If I know the best way to a town I IgNORE most of the GPS directions. I make maps for almost all of my signings bc Google maps will show you how many miles you are travelling. As Mobile Signing Agents we are ALL eligible for “Schedule C” on our taxes and that means YOU can write off ALL of the mileage from beginning to end of each signing. Having a map in my computer helps me to prep for taxes.

    Comment by betty — September 23, 2019 @ 7:50 pm

  2. Recently, I had plugged in an address for a notary signing only to find out the address did not exist in Google Maps so it would not give me any direction(s) at all. Because I prep ahead of time and not the moment of the signing when it comes to directions, I was able to figure out the problem as well as a way around the problem long before the signing took place. Saving me the awful feeling of potentially being late for that signing. However, it also reminded me just how much I do depend on Google Maps and my smartphone.

    Comment by Sandra J Ray — December 18, 2019 @ 10:57 pm

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