I’ve taken to calling my most recent GPS navigator a Nag-a-vator.
Because it is an application running on my iPhone, I don’t just turn down the volume. I need to keep the sound turned up for iTunes, and phone calls. But that means I’ve also got to listen to my navigator’s griping and complaining. It warns when you exceed the speed limit. Not that I ever do, of course, but if I did, I’m sure I’d get tired of the incessant “caution, caution, caution.”
I like to program in the destination for several reasons, even when I don’t follow directions. If I do get truly lost, it’s nice to have the destination preprogramed in to help me find the way. It’s also an easy way to keep track of the remaining miles and ETA. But often, I’ll take a smaller more scenic route rather than follow the larger and faster roads the unit is recommending. Then the contest of wills begins. I know it’s just a machine, but I think it must get angry with me because I don’t follow instructions.
“Please turn around at the first opportunity,” it insists while flashing a red, hook-shaped arrow on the screen. Eventually it will give up and accept the fact that I’m not going to turn around. But that doesn’t mean the battle is over, especially if I’m on a road that parallels the route the Nag-a-vator wants to use.
“Turn right in two miles,” it will say and I realize it’s trying to get me back to the road it wants me to use. As I bust past the turning point it again pleads with me to turn around. Eventually it will give up and I hear, “Recalculating,” in a female voice that sounds petulant to me. I’ve never actually seen it display a hand on the screen with the middle finger extended, but I think it does sometimes when I’m not looking.
It was enough of a hassle that I finally got into the settings and muted the application. I no longer have to listen to it, and I find it much easier to ignore the screen when I decide to go my own way. If I could just find that setting on some people.
A woman who was with us on a ride before I shut the Nag-a-vator up commented that men never listen to women’s directions, but were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for an electronic device that would do the same thing. Usually in a female voice. I pointed out that our electronic devices have off buttons.
－ Guy Wheatley