Whenever I need to go anywhere new, my automatic instinct is to look it up on Google Maps and follow it blindly. Since I trust my phone completely to take me to where I need to be, I never really pay attention to where I’m going.

I could’ve gone somewhere the day before, but if you asked me to go there again without Google Maps, I would definitely get lost. I don’t feel the need to be aware of my surroundings or try to remember where I am going. But what happens when I run out of battery or I have no signal? Suddenly, I’m helpless.

When my mom gives directions to other people, you can clearly see how aware she is of everything around her while she drives. “You pass the house with the big bush and turn right when you see a red house on the corner,” she might instruct.

If she hasn’t been somewhere before but knows which neighborhood her destination is in, she can start getting close while Google Maps is loading. On the other hand, I need to start looking up where I’m going as soon as I start the car.

Technology is meant to facilitate our lives and day-to-day tasks, but is it making us useless in the process? Growing up with all of this technology has made us highly dependent on it, which is very worrying. As helpful as technology is, it isn’t 100% reliable. If you follow Google Maps blindly to get somewhere, it might make you go through an unsafe neighborhood since that isn’t taken into consideration by their algorithm.

And of course I’m not telling you we should stop using google maps altogether; it is obviously an incredibly useful tool. However, I do think we need to become more aware of where we are going and where we have been. To use it as a tool that can help us rather than following it blindly almost as if on autopilot all of the time.