Why You Should Ditch Your Sat Nav.

Are you the kind of person who, before you start the engine, has to program your sat nav gadget with a postcode? Do you then follow it blindly, turning left and right at the stated distances, until you “reach your destination”?  If so you need to read this article!

I have banned my children from using sat nav now they are driving.  Heres why… I have always tended to look at a map (even online) before setting off and making a mental note of the whole of the country and the network or roads we will be using,then simply making a list M62 to M18 to M1 etc.  I used to get my eldest child to follow this route on a map and be aware of which road we need to take next and look out for it.  Sometimes, like when she was eight and we were trying to navigate Paris, it can get a little stressful but as a result of this method she and I have a pretty decent cognitive map of the layout of our countries main arteries.

Using sat nav gives us the country broken-down into tiny abstract chunks meaning young people today are losing an holistic view of their country. So what? Well, without this in-built mental picture of the rough layout of our road networks, setting off without a sat nav now means many people wouldn’t be able to find their way even in the right general direction, eg toward London or toward Edinburgh!

Sat nav relies on… satellites… and therefore electricity and telecommunication.  These resources may not always be available and even when sat nav is working fully – how many of you have still managed to get lost?

Ive been travelling with people with two sat navs (one in built and a ‘better’ second one bought at high cost and installed on the dash) who still spent two hours driving round Paris outskirts lost.  I’ve also been in a hotel waiting for the rest of the group to arrive just to receive a phone call – ‘sat nav says we have arrived at the hotel but we are next to a field – can you come and get us?’  So, not only is she disempowering us, it is clear, however nice her voice, Sat Nav is just not that reliable.

It’s time to ditch the sat nav and reclaim your inner wisdom as to direction!

Survival of the fittest is a myth – it was in fact survival of those who could navigate best.  It’s ok to be able to run the fastest and carry the most BUT if you are running in the wrong direction, you’re stuffed!

 Six Points To Be Aware Of If You Have Sat Nav Dependency.

1. Maps are just beautiful patterns that convey information.  Don’t shy away from them.

2.Most cities consist of an inner and outer ring road and are often connected by straightish roads thanks to the Romans.

3. Within this pattern there are key motorways to be aware of at a glance – test yourself and your family using a map – could you roughly place the main roads on a map of your own country?

4. We managed to travel the world on foot and by sea long before electricity and gadgets wearing just fur loincloths.

5. We have a magnetic mineral in our nasal passages just like migratory birds.  This helps them tap into true North – some people may have more of this than others.  Eventually our biology will ‘evolve’ away from anything we don’t use.  Throughout history, to avoid extinction, species have to adapt, migrate or die.  If we need to migrate next year due to civil unrest, climatic disaster or some other large-scale event, how can we do it if we have adapted away from the ability to migrate to a safe place when there is no sat nav to guide us?

6. Getting lost is fine – you are merely extending your real-world knowledge about your country and building up a bigger picture of ‘what is where’. Just make sure you set off with plenty of time to spare and remember the best part of getting lost is what you find on the way!

Read ‘Part Two’ for Some Useful Sat Nav Weaning Tips.