5 Ways GPS Systems Piss Me Off

Call me old-fashioned, but you will NEVER see me use a GPS “nav” (for all you technology-savvy folk). I think they do more harm than good and they eliminate the need for drivers to pay attention to surroundings and learn anything about their location. Here’s how deep my hatred runs.

1. They have absurd names. TomTom, Garmin… these monikers sound like they could belong to Cinderella’s dopey following of mice. If I had to rely on an appliance to navigate me to my destination, I’d want it to be called “David” or “John” to reflect the persona of a no-nonsense man’s man who’s good with directions and can change a flat tire. Not a cartoon rodent with a propensity towards mischief.

2. They lose signal when you need them the most. Driving through the clusterfuck of tunnels under the city of Boston, you need an Ativan to simply NOT drive into the wall and end it all out of paralyzing anxiety. Just when you think you’re in the clear, totally squared away with your nifty GPS that will keep you on track and your sanity intact, the damn thing loses signal underground. Instead of winding up by the Garden, you’re in fucking West Roxbury. No thanks.

3. They abruptly shout at you. As the Allstate commercials accurately show us, GPS systems frequently require updates, and if you’re like any normal human being with much better things to do than update them, they fail and get lost. Yes, the very computers designed for the sole purpose of navigating you safely to your destination get you lost and then “recalculate” all over your ass, telling you to “turn left now!” directly into the side of a Taco Bell.

4. They’re passive aggressive. If your GPS gives you instructions and you so happen to ignore them upon glancing at your screen and noticing that your car avatar appears to be off-roading through what looks like a meadow, your “nav” repeats itself in a progressively louder voice until you obey it. And if you choose to go rogue? That bougie British accent gives you the silent treatment and stops talking to you altogether. If I wanted that kind of drama, I’d have a boyfriend.

5. They do not provide efficient directions. Ironic, yes, but traveling from point A to point B using “nav” is never that simple. I swear I’ve lost friends for days in the murky fog of GPS voodoo as though the thing takes secret pleasure in watching you burn through a tank of gas and call your Mom, bawling about the fact that you’re driving down Moody Street for the SEVENTH TIME. Just like I, Robot predicted they would, the machines are finally turning on us.

Bottom line is, nothing good can come of them. I could do a better job finding any given destination with a blindfold and a Braille map than using “nav.” Homegirl drove all the way across the country using nothing but good ol’-fashioned paper maps from AAA! I’ll support the convenience of most technology, but fucking TomTom isn’t one of them. TC mark

image – Alex Lines


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    I don’t care what you say.  Without Sue, my TomTom navigator who I picture as my wife, I would be completely lost…I have no sense of direction.  The good thing about Sue is that unlike a real woman, she can actually can follow directions.  Also, when she’s loud and unnecessary and obnoxious, I have the ability to silence her. 

    • ew

      this whole thing of dude’s being not-so-subtly in love with their GPS and her sexy obedient lady voice kind of freaks me out. You aren’t alone. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/fashion/27FamilyMatters.html

    • loud_and_unnecessary

      it’s pretty clear why you have to picture your TomTom navigator as your wife instead of actually having one. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

        Because I’m a homosexual?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kwesi-Andoh/505627710 Kwesi Andoh

    This is silly.

  • http://twitter.com/jewelstwts ashlee jewel

    i was on a road trip recently and my GPS got me lost.  when i asked for directions at a gas station, the attendant told me that GPS is in “cahoots” with gas stations across the country and they’re designed to take people the longest way towards their destination, so that their cars burn more gas while in route.   So I call them “Gas Price Scam” systems, instead of G-P-S.

    • Fakes and ladders

      Look at you! All witty. 

  • A Fellow Bostonian

    “Driving through the clusterfuck of tunnels under the city of Boston, you need an Ativan to simply NOT drive into the wall and end it all out of paralyzing anxiety.” Genius and true. This line should be retired and hung from rafters in the aforementioned Garden.

  • Rose


    • Anonymous


  • Paideumaxx

    fuck yeah! i hate em too

  • Max


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Shafer/1169280047 Megan Shafer

    thank you! i’ve always hated them too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Shafer/1169280047 Megan Shafer

    thank you! i’ve always hated them too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    whatever happened to people driving with maps in front of their faces

  • Anonymous

    Funny, I thought the opening “Call me old fashioned” would be in reference to using an actual GPS device and not just the GPS software bundled with most phones nowadays…

  • Pryncez Tigreey

    WOW Stitches! That’s what I now have in my stomach. I keep telling people my ‘nav’ is trying to kill me but no one believes me. They think I’m just too retarded to follow direction. The most retarded thing of all? It didn’t start trying to kill me until after I actually updated it. sigh… 

  • A.

    Clearly you’re not using Garmin. Gary is always shotgun and he’s never steered me wrong.

    Besides, mapquest is the devil.

  • Dfghjk

    If I wanted that kind of drama, I’d have a boyfriend.lol I love you

  • Kwallace336

    A few years back I left Boston and met a friend of mine in Albany.  He had met me there after driving from his hometown in New Jersey with our plans of leaving my car at the Albany airport and taking his car for a weekend skiing in VT.  We leave my car and start following the GPS.  Fast forward to 9 PM and my buddies Fucking TomTom says “turn left to take the ferry over Lake Champlain.”  Needless to say, the ferry wasn’t running.  And since when is taking a ferry normal protocol for a road trip at 9 PM?  It was getting late and we had driven an hour up the west bank of Lake Champlain when we needed to be on the eastern side.  He was running out of gas and we just barely made it to a gas station.  Then after several hours more of driving we finally made it to the hotel and barely got any rest before a long day on the slopes.  Fuck a GPS.       

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=46601588 Meghan McCrimmon

    Can I get a hell yeah for the AAA Map?  Right on sister!

  • http://twitter.com/hereticaneue Heretica Neue

    I hate GPS too, and for all those reasons (except #1, that doesn’t bother me). My boyfriend’s dad gave him one when he moved to this city, and he insists on using it, even when I’m in the car and I know where we’re going. Like… I LIVE here. I GREW UP here. I drove this route every day for 3 years! I THINK I know how to get where we’re going; you DON’T need the goddamn GPS. And then he takes Consuela’s (that’s what we named the GPS, that conspiratorial bitch) advice over mine! 

  • Lmn 7

    This reminds me of Michael Scott driving into a lake because his GPS told him to!

  • shivshav

    Stupid bloody things. My friend named her’s “Stacey” because it was a bitch of a thing and Stacey sounds like a bitch name. Many a time have we have yelled at it “Fuck you, Stacey!” And many a time have we threatened to throw Stacey out the window. She takes you the longest way possible and talks like a pretentious little thing while she does it.

    P.s. No offence to all Stacey’s out there, I’m sure you’re lovely

blog comments powered by Disqus