Friday, July 29, 2016

Maps vs. Siri

I'm pretty much an old school guy. (Or, at the very least, an old guy.)

So, when it came time to get ready to go on vacation, I made sure to pack my maps. Oh, I packed the old standby Rand McNally Road Atlas. I packed the Benchmark book of maps for the states where we would be traveling. I packed some good, old-fashioned folding maps, because it wouldn't be a vacation without a good old-fashioned foldy map.

Meanwhile, The Wife packed her "smart" phone.

I really didn't need my maps.

Because everyone needs a map of Chubbuck!

As we got in the van to leave, she simply held up her phone, spoke the words, "Directions to the Super 8 in Baker, Oregon," and I had absolutely no use for any of my maps. Siri, the all-knowing somewhat knowledgeable voice inside The Wife's phone, shouted out directions for the rest of the trip.

This is very convenient---most of the time. If you veer off Siri's spoken route in the least, she does not like it, and she will tell you so. Make the bold decision to stop for a potty break or to get some fuel, Siri will nag at you to get back to where she thinks you should be going. "Turn left at the next street." "Turn left at the next street." And, when she gets really testy, she'll just repeat, "Proceed to the route. Proceed to the route."

So, don't you dare get off the freeway to take a look at The World's Largest Ball of String. Siri will not like it! (Foldy maps never yell at you.)

At one point we were going to go to a museum, but the traffic was horrible. After waiting in stop-and-go construction traffic for half an hour, we decided to skip the trip to the museum. Siri would have none of that. She was going to get us to our destination, and she wasn't going to stop until we were there. I finally had to turn off my phone to get Siri to stop chastising me.

I still prefer my maps. But, Siri has some advantages. Siri will tell you where to go while driving through traffic, whereas it is difficult to look at a map while in motion. And, Siri does help in an area that maps seldom do: knowing if an exit goes off to the left or to the right.

So, I'm begrudgingly taking baby steps into the world of new technology. Oh, I'm still going to pack my maps. But, I'm willing to let Siri help guide us to our destination.

But, I don't care what Siri says, I'm going to stop at The World's Largest Ball of String whether she wants me to or not!

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