On Christmas Eve, while driving from Princeton, NJ to Richmond, VA, I was involved in a loud and scary car accident (we’re all OK; the car is damaged badly). The only relevant details I’ll share here are as follows: I was a bit lost; I was trying to get from I-295 to the NJ Turnpike. I’d done the exact trip at least a half-dozen times, and I knew that I usually took a short jaunt through a commercial section of Burlington, NJ. I wasn’t sure of all the details, so I had our portable GPS on as a guide. The GPS had me exit I-295 around where I had expected to do so. However, immediately after exiting, the surroundings seemed unfamiliar. Sure enough, the GPS device seemed equally confused and instantly suggested that I make a “sharp left.” The image on the screen, as best I remember it, suggested that a “sharp left” actually meant a U-turn. I was confused, but decided to make a U-turn while trying to figure out what the GPS…BOOM, SMACK, BAM!!!
Had my head been up and were I not relying on the GPS device, the crash would have been avoided. My point here is not to get all philosophical, but the incident has me thinking about reliance on technology and on the importance of getting my head out of the screen and out into the real world.
So, folks, can you think of instances where you might be relying on technology in ways that might ultimately be harmful? Might you/we/I need to “come up for air” more often and interact with the world in more human ways?