As I prepared to go out to a function, I picked up my phone to place it in my bag. It had a message for me.

“You should be leaving now for the Gov. Hill Mansion. Traffic in Augusta is light, and you will be there in 10 minutes.”

This was interesting. Apparently my iPhone thought it was more organized than I am.

I went out to the car. We had a loaner, as a tire-store employee had backed a truck into our car while it was waiting to have snow tires installed. Our Prius is technologically advanced, but this Chevy Malibu was cutting edge.

As I started it up, a message appeared on the dashboard. “Be careful driving. It may be icy tonight.”

For a second, all I could think of was my favorite television character: Sheldon Cooper, of “The Big Bang Theory.” He thinks any robot uprising will be led by ATMs. But maybe it’s really going to begin with cars.


I am not one of those adults who thinks kids know more about technology than I do. I work with young people, and sometimes I have to tell them how to do things. For example, it may be surprising to some people (although not me) that many teenagers do not know how to locate a printer on a networked computer.

Yes, I am comfortable with technology. I don’t always understand it, but I can use it. I’m just not sure I want my gadgets to tell me what to do.

As an Apple devotee, I use Microsoft Outlook only at work. I have gotten used to reminders showing up on my calendar and then insistently alerting me when the time to hustle is nigh.

The connection is simple to comprehend. I have responded to an e-mailed meeting invitation, so it pops up on my calendar.

But why, one day at home, while I was getting a call on my iPhone, did a message appear on my MacBook Pro, alerting me to who was calling? I have no idea.

We, as a society, have ceded a lot of power to our technological devices. Look at the messes GPS gets drivers into. On one snowy day in December, the Kennebec Journal reported, a trucker went the wrong way down Water Street and another driver slid down a snowy hill. Their GPS told them to do it.


Well, my GPS is not the boss of me. Look how it tells me to go west when I am in an unfamiliar place. When it’s pitch dark out. Do you know how I determine direction? The house in which I grew up faced west. To the right was North Street. To the left was South Street. We lived on East County Street, which was on the right of County Street while facing north. If I have one direction, I can figure out the rest.

Do you hear me, Voice? I need one direction. OMG — that makes me sound like a tween.

I got carried away there. It is preferable that I remain smarter than my GPS. My GPS should not have all the answers. Right?

Baby boomers enjoy recalling what life was like before technology took over. We did survive, but it wasn’t always pretty. I was 7 or so when my preschooler sister stuck her hand in the blades of a rotary lawn mower. She nearly severed a finger.

I was already on the school bus when Mom dashed off to the hospital. So I came home to an empty house with a hallway and bathroom sink splattered with blood.

The neighbor who was supposed to intercept me at the bus stop stuck her head inside the back door and merrily sang out, “Yoo-hoo,” before I had a chance to faint.


Today’s moms would text the older child while the younger one was being stitched up. Is this really better, though? After all, I got cookies and milk at the neighbor’s house.

Once at my recent function in Augusta, I heard others marveling at how their iPhones had given them their travel information. Apparently, this is something iPhones do now.

I don’t care enough to find out how it’s done. I knew how long it was going to take me to get to State Street, and after living in Augusta for more than 25 years. I knew that traffic was not going to be light at 4 p.m., especially since I was going through two roundabouts.

Take that, Voice, or whoever you are. Whatever, I mean. Whatever.

Liz Soares of Augusta welcomes e-mail at [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.