Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I think my husband and I might be the fossils you were talking about last week. We are beginning to do weird things. For example, we have a new GPS with a woman's voice. My husband does not get along with her at all and I do not believe her half the time. We have started to call her Sacajawea and talk to her as if she was a real person. Do you think we are going nuts in our new RV or have you heard of this behavior before?
--Directionally Challenged in Chaco Canyon
I sometimes wonder, but I am hoping it is normal behavior. Like your husband I have had relationship issues with the female voice on my GPS. I broke up with the first one. She was a Garmin. I bought a TomTom and that relationship is rocky. My wife won't let me call her what I want so I call her a witch, as in (which) way do you want me to go this time! It only makes sense that voice recognition and synthesized voice communication give cold plastic hardware a personality. In most cases the GPS voice tells us exactly what we ask for. A study shows that 80% of those using these units have never read the manual and do not understand many of the basic functions. It's actually a great way to see a lot of country you would normally miss. Besides, if you didn't have her to argue with, you might be arguing with each other. I consider mine a stress reliever. I think when they get a bit more sophisticated they will have a GPS unit that can argue back and really tell us where they would like us to go..
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink