That "Nagging" Voice - Getting Directions
Men refuse to ask for directions. Perhaps it is an "independence" thing or has something to do with pride. Women, on the other hand, insist on the careful organization and planning of trips, stopping and ensuring that the way is meticulously laid out. This could go as far back as the early hunter and gatherer time, I'm thinking. Men would head off, with just their spears and adrenaline, hoping to track down the big prey and the women would stay close the home gathering the fruits and berries.
Or so I've been told.
Getting directions is no different. Men seem to enjoy just heading out the door without a care in the world, letting the trail unfold as they go. Of course, I'm speaking about this from a male perspective, and this is extremely stereo-typed (so don't beat me up here!). I have a pretty good sense of direction but a horrible memory for the names of streets. Even to this day, I can't remember the names of some of the streets I travel daily. My wife is amazed. I just tell her, I do it by sight. I could draw a map with landmarks along the way, but couldn't ever write down the names of the streets.
The thing that has saved me over time when it comes to fighting over directions or the way to go is the GPS. In the past, my wife tried to navigate by reading a variety of paper maps, trying to pinpoint where we were, often fighting off car sickness in the process. And I went through gadget withdrawal as I was focused to simply drive and nothing else. The GPS has made things a lot easier for both of us and has avoided scuffles like "why didn't you turn right back there" or "you didn't mention that there wasn't a gas station for another 60 miles" or "can you figure out how to route around this accident".
So, I now can travel without paper maps, without the need to rely on a co-navigator, and definitely I am minimizing the bickering that happens about directions when you are confined in a metal object hurtling down the road. Recently, in the "Lose the Laptop" challenge, I thought about how travel could be made a bit easier. And I definitely came to the conclusion that having a GPS is critical.
I have been playing around with the AT&T Navigator, a monthly GPS service from AT&T that is available on the HTC Tilt 2(and other AT&T cell phones). Activation is very easy, you can even get a free trial. I was wondering how it would compare against dedicated GSPs currently on the market and I was actually pleasantly surprised. As I drove, routes were calculated and re-calculated, traffic was checked and my way was found, all with a friendly (and a bit nagging) female voice. As I tried to deviate from the route that lovely female voice had laid out for me, I was strongly advised about calculating new routes, on-the-fly.
But it did make me think, which is more common for male drivers, a male or female navigation voice? I'm thinking female because we are used to that. Do men listen to directions better when the voice is a woman? What about the reverse? Do women prefer listening to women's voices or men's? Of course, I'm completely stereo-typing all of this. There are plenty of men who plan out the trips and lots of women who are the gadget freaks and fly-by-wire without a planning afterthought.
It does bring up an interesting question though. What direction will GPS's go? Will they become conversational? Interact with voice commands? Could you engage in a conversation with them? Will they become more distracting, or something as commonplace as your turn signal? For me, though, I think having a device (like the HTC Tilt 2) that does GPS (though the AT&T Navigator) that does MORE than just GPS is really the way to go. If you can have one device that does everything AND that travels with you AND provides a much more compelling offering than having to lug around a variety of gadgets that each do specific things, THAT is the device to have!
HTD Says: Will the HTC Tilt 2 coupled with the AT&T Navigator avoid nagging and bickering on a long trip? I doubt it. Will it get you where you need to go? Definitely!
April 15, 9:47 am