10/03/2012 01:09 am ET Updated Dec 02, 2012

Recalculating Route


I don't know about you, but my GPS system has taken me off-route sometimes to some pretty crazy places. When I go off onto those dark roads that just don't seem quite right, I actually defy my GPS and force it to recalculate my route. The same is true in my life.

When something doesn't feel right, it usually isn't. Sometimes I'm on autopilot and just not paying attention. I go where life takes me and follow what is seemingly the next right step -- blindly and without question. Then, that little voice in the back of my mind wakes up and reminds me to recalculate my route (so to speak). As if to say, "danger ahead -- bridge out!" or, more plainly, "Pay attention to the road ahead, stupid!"

My GPS is great, but it is not a license to stop thinking. I am a huge lover of all things technological, but isn't the greatest computer of all the mind? Have we become such slaves to our GPS systems, our self-driving cars, our Siris, that we have stopped thinking for ourselves? In a modern world where things have become so complex, I welcome all of the advances and modern conveniences I can get, but not at the expense of free thought. Scarier still is that it is my free will that is offering to turn my choices over to these contraptions all too easily.

When my words are autocorrected to the point that they no longer make sense in a text messge or I find myself failing to spell words in their entirety only to replace them with Twitter-speak to keep them under the allotted number of characters, I begin to worry. When I find myself falling victim to these things, I go back to that voice in my head and "recalculate" in search of a better route. Clearly I have fallen off course (just a little) and need to find my way back.

Again, I am a true friend of technology and a lover of all things that will simplify my life, but when I begin to get into a pattern of sensory overload, it is time to step back, shut down for a bit, reboot and redirect myself down a different path. Don't get me wrong -- all of these devices will still be in my life, but I may not need to use them all simultaneously. There is a fine line between multitasking and attention-deficit. I don't have to work on my Mac while listening to my iPod, watching my DVR, Tweeting, texting, playing Words with Friends on my new Kindle Fire and setting up my next Netflix pick while shoe shopping online. It is times like this when I almost miss the days when the only thing we turned to for guidance was the Magic 8 Ball. You asked it a question and most often you got... Concentrate and ask again later!

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