Saturday, 23 January 2016

Find Your Own Way

Do you use Google Maps? You will answer in the affirmative without a doubt. I love technology and how easy it has made our lives. But I also feel navigation technology is a double edged sword. Shall we explore how?

I remember how when I was a small school girl, we would stop at every turn en route to a hill station and ask the locals for directions. This stopping at every turn though, would come after a lot of debate. My father would pride himself on his navigation skills and drive without wanting to halt. My mum, on the other hand, would be sure we were heading in the wrong direction and insist on second opinion. I used think stopping to talk to the locals was an integral part of the travel experience. But that was a mere necessity, I would learn later.

When I was a little older and on my first solo international trip to Europe, I made it a habit to collect maps of every new city that I would visit. These maps were mostly free and sometimes, cost a few cents. Some were as small as an A4 sized sheet of paper, and some, as large as a bedsheet! But they were all very useful. My first boyfriend taught me how to read maps properly, and how actually to use them to find my way. Before his help, I would keep staring blankly at the confusing grids before me and try to spot where I actually was. Funnily, studying Geography in school did little to help me read a map. Despite knowing and getting some good practice of using paper maps, I would still have to stop to ask the locals many things. Sometimes, it was just to be sure. Then again, sometimes, I guess I just wanted to talk to them. :-)

Some roads have no maps to navigate them

With the advent of half a dozen digital map providers such as Google, Nokia and some Indian variants too, we have changed the way we commute. I cannot deny that it is incredibly easy to find your way a new place now without having to talk to a single stranger. Just key in the destination, and the GPS system detects your current location and shows you multiple ways to get where you want to! You also know exactly how long each route will take and when you will finally be there.

But these digital assistants are making us increasingly solitary. We don't stop as much on our ways to say hello to the indigenous people walking by. We remain smug and ignore well-wishers when they pipe in with their advice. We become so overconfident at times that we tell other tourists how they should be getting to a certain place. We have become a dangerous tribe, thanks to digital maps.

But this technology fails to help us when there's no data connectivity or wi-fi in remote and inaccessible locations. I remember once how when I wanted to reach the entrance to the Gir Interpretation Zone (Gujarat, India), my cellphone showed me a way that was through the middle of the forest! I would have been mauled and eaten by over 400 Asiatic lions had I not used my common sense and switched off the internet.

There are times when you just have to trust your instincts and do things the way our ancestors have done. You cannot always have faith in technology. On many roads, you just have to find your own way.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


  1. The only way to become successful is to follow the true God because there is only one God and there is only one true religion on the earth and you can identify this religion if you search for truth depending on proofs and become honest with yourself

    1. Amen! :-) And glory to our only true God that you too have sought our saviour! May you become stronger in His Word and be a blessing to our fellow brothers!


Let me hear your thoughts!