We Live Here Now

Gone is the era of being lost. Digest that for a moment. I carry a device in my pocket that makes me practically immune. Finding a decent restaurant is now as simple as choosing a country and how far I'm willing to walk. This is the time we live in. I carry a library in my jeans. No, that's not quite fair. A library is limited to things that have been published, released, and printed. The most current book in a library is likely to be a year behind. Twitter tells me things that happened eight seconds ago. This is our world now. We choose which parts of the world are delivered to our doorstop.

Yet, there are still detractors, people who scoff at GPS and the myriad of applications climbing over one another to help you find your way. In their hearts is a romanticism worthy of Thoreau's throne. It is a silly and misguided ideal, but an ideal nonetheless. Please allow me to lovingly persuade you otherwise. There is nothing cute about being lost. Driving around in circles has never brought friends together. It is an aggravating and needless activity. 

Someone in the back is shouting, "My friend and I were in New York and we stumbled into the worst restaurant and, while the food was awful, we had a great time." It's not supernatural. Friends can make the best of a bad situation. Had you spent two seconds on Yelp, the wonderful sopapillas you might have had at the tiny Mexican place with no sign out front would be reblowing your mind.

Getting lost is not the same thing as taking the scenic route. Navigating is difficult. There is a destination calling to us. We have a place to be. Now is not the time for you to work on your mountain-man survival skills. Plus, we're driving a Hybrid car with satellite navigation. I hope I never touch a another paper map. My fingers will never fumble over grids looking for a road that hasn't existed in five years or where traffic is stopped because a family of ducks are crossing the street. Traffic reroute. GPS: detour. Done. 

But, "If we rely on GPS, we'll never learn how to navigate." Who cares? I never learned to measure a cup of flour on my own. But I've got a stainless steel dry measuring cup in my drawer. If I don't have one, I'll borrow one. The human experience is bafflingly complex. I'm worried about keeping the love of a good woman, my relationship with my parents, and my next big project. We'll have plenty to worry about even if we're getting help with navigation and restaurant selection.  

Technology is on our team. It serves us. We are its masters. It only knows where we are so it can point us where we tell it to. Let it be our legacy that we never needlessly ate a bad meal and saved hundreds of hours of our lives not wondering which wrong turn we took. How many novels will be written with those extra hours? How many more times a couple will sleep together because of great dinner dates?

This is our time. We live here now. And when I learn to put the phone away during dinner so I may simply enjoy the company of my friends and lovers, technology will truly be my ally and not a mixed blessing. It would be a mistake to blame the typewriter used to write hate mail. 


  1. Ah, but Nick, technology is only on our team until it is *smarter than our team.*

    We have a company out there called Cyberdyne. They are creating an AI program called Skynet. It's funny now, but I suspect someday an old man hiding from machines will laugh bitterly.

  2. Some of the best coffee shops I've hit up were from being lost and driving in circles.
    For years I’ve ran off to different states with friends while having no more then a cheap map half stained with Java and great music.
    I tried technology 100% to get me places.
    I got frustrated.
    Information nation is fun to ride on for curiosity and a quick fix. Personally I enjoy the hunt.
    The looking for a book out of print or for one so new that I have to almost fight in line for it.
    I enjoy the lost drives, the hidden stores and the laughter of getting lost with great people as well as the stopping on a roadside and throwing a fucking fit with said people.

    The fact that I can know everything about my friends by networking sites, and know where to eat now from other people and where to go by the opinions of others. It beats the interest.
    Sometimes the wrong way gets you on the right track. Or at least introduces you to some new people or some good stories or gives you a personal map of where not to go and where to avoid public bathrooms.

  3. @Jim. They are coming. Bring it on. I have faith in us.

    @Tess. Thank you.

    @Cat. I think good stories abound. I'm about not wasting our precious time and telling more great stories.

  4. A good story is one to tell but once before the next adventure comes and wipes the previous ones ass.
    With more time to live and less time wasted walking aimlessly around in circles getting lost and wasting away hours, more could be accomplished.

    "Let it be our legacy that we never needlessly ate a bad meal and saved hundreds of hours of our lives not wondering which wrong turn we took. I wonder how many novels will be written with those extra hours? How many more times a couple will sleep together because of great dinner dates?"

    I get what you're saying. :)

    I have a story; there was this girl who adored this boy in school who had an amazing head of hair that was in the style of a bowl cut, but amazingly shiny. Haha jk.
    As always, good writing Nick.