Riding the Waze Wave

In the good old days, we had these things called maps.  I’m not saying I knew how to use them, just making light conversation.

I am both geographically and navigationally challenged.   When my daughter came in to the world, Mother Nature gave her looks, talent, and brains.  Then, looking down on me desperately trying to find the dairy aisle in a grocery store, Mother Nature decided to even the odds in my favor and give her an insanely accurate sense of direction.  My daughter could go someplace one time, and it is permanently ingrained on her brain map.  If, however, I am driving, and we end up three states away from our destination (due to my innate inability to follow directions), my daughter has fantastic technology in the palm of her hand to bring us back on track.  I was forbidden to touch the device, however, after that one time I tried to fold it back up and put it in the glove compartment.

With my daughter off to college and busy with her own life … too busy to help her old mother find that Starbucks two towns away that has that awesome white mocha latte that we’ve only been to 500 times (and I still can’t locate on my own), I figured I would never be able to find anything again.  I had visions of being lost in my own home, unable to find the bathroom or kitchen.  Luckily for me, she had an awesome solution called Waze. If you haven’t tried this app, you should. I swear by it now … and no, I don’t get paid to say that. It’s just as a person who routinely gets lost in my own hometown, I appreciate any little bit of help I can get to stay on track and on time.

Waze is more than just directions.  This amazing free app is powered by its users and allows them to enter alerts for police, traffic, accidents, road hazards, and so forth.  For some reason I do not understand, my car shows up on fellow Waze user’s screens as a blinking neon blip, with people regularly posting updates as to my whereabouts and adding absurd emoticons next to it. I’m sorry fellow travelers, but if it’s any consolation, I really don’t want to be doing what I’m doing either.

Waze has saved me time and frustration on more than one occasion by steering me away from traffic and into a smooth flow of backroads and little-known detours (at least little known to me).  I’ve been into neighborhoods I didn’t even know existed.  Every day driving is now an adventure!  At times, I like to feel in control and will deliberately ignore Waze instructions so that it realizes it is not the boss of me.  I mean, seriously, what the hell are you sending me this way for, you stupid app??  Needless to say, I’ve regretted it every time, because I’ve subsequently run into standstill traffic which has significantly delayed my road trip, not to mention added to my road-stress level…which, in all honesty, is about maxed out on a good day.

Waze doesn’t have the snark delightful repartee that accompanies my daughter’s route-finding directions, but it gets me where I need to be.

Now, speaking of lost, enjoy this news story about a family lost in corn maze who called 911 for rescue.   I may be a get lost in my own hometown kind of person, but I will never be the “lost in a corn maze calling 911 instead of cutting directly through the corn or flagging down the corn maze lifeguard” kind of lost.

7 thoughts on “Riding the Waze Wave

  1. I can’t figure out how to get it on my phone. LOL My friend has it and we use it ALL the time. It’s fabulous, even thought I hate that our every move is being monitored. Once, when we stopped in a traffic jam, they asked us why we were stopped and what was going on, so they could alert others. Terrifying, actually.

  2. Be careful of ignoring the app. We had an actual GPS device (back before apps on the phone- lol) and my husband was notorious for ignoring it, he’s another one of *those* people like your daughter. One day I was driving, husband next to me in Denver where we hadn’t been for a long time and the GPS decided of all days THAT was going to be it’s day of payback.
    I took the exit it told me to, which was part of a clover leaf, then immediately took the next turn, as instructed. And again the immediate next turn. I look at my husband who is staring at the GPS. Now we are all familiar with GPS of any kind making mistakes or suddenly changing it’s little electronic mind and sending us suddenly in a different direction (right?). Also that there’s a helpful line of any color that shows us the way. But which disappears when it changes it’s mind. I drove that clover leaf twice and when it was about to send me through it AGAIN I pulled over, looked at my husband and told him that this was HIS fault.
    We got where we needed to go (thanks to husband’s brilliant sense of direction- the man managed to get me on a main road once WHILE I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH HIM and got lost because I wasn’t paying attention). We also stopped using that GPS. Now we use Waze and Google Maps if we have too.

    • I used google maps all the time until I got waze. I just prefer waze. My version of directions is … go to where that donut shop used to be, you know the one with the great ice tea, then turn left and go until you see the old walmart … it’s something else now, but you know where I mean … go about two miles (which is a half mile to everyone else) and you’ll see it. I think it’s on the left. No, wait, the right. No. I was correct the first time, left. 😀

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