Mary Wilson’s sassy GPS unit recalculated it’s final route this Thanksgiving. “I left for my mom’s house yesterday and took my trusty GPS nav unit with me. I haven’t actually used it in probably three years, but I wanted to give it a good send-off.”
After successfully making the trip from North Carolina to her hometown of Fishers, Indiana, Mary solemnly unplugged the old Garmin and stashed it away, this time probably for good.
“I’ve kept it around mainly for sentimental reasons,” says Mary. “My late father gave it to me for Christmas in 2007 and for at least two years after I used it almost everywhere I went. It was especially useful since I was new in town for grad school and didn’t know my way around.”
So what changed? “Like everyone else, I got a smart phone,” Mary said. “It became pretty redundant by like 2010. I sort of felt sorry for it. Then my dad passed away and if I didn’t use it on road trips I’d actually feel guilty.”
“But even that only lasted a couple years”, says Mary, “it’s just such a pain to set it all up just to take it down again. Plus, I swear the sassy lady that does the navigation voice was always annoyed with me. I’d take like one wrong turn and she’d practically bite my head off.”
It’s easy to forget just how popular GPS units were for a brief time. They were everywhere, and if you didn’t have one awkwardly stuck somewhere to your dashboard or front windshield you were practically an outcast. Just ten years ago a GPS unit for your car was among the most sought-after holiday gifts — today they’re almost laughable technological dinosaurs.
“I like the fact that there’s a lot more choices now — I have a nav app on my phone that’s much more friendly. I love my dad, and I really appreciated my GPS for a time, but I’m also quite happy not to have to listen to it berate my every move. That I can live without.”