Do you know about WAZE?  I didn’t.  I found out about it when I asked a friend for directions to her home in Heritage Hills. My sense of direction is dismal and I was certain I would get lost within the maze.

My friend wanted to make the trip easy for me, so she introduced me to WAZE on my phone.  I had seen the word but was afraid to tap on it because I’m still not comfortable with all the things my new phone is capable of.

“Oh, I didn’t even realize I had a GPS on my phone,” I declared.  I had actually just recently learned what the letters GPS represented and just wanted to say GPS, like I knew what I was talking about. 

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If I’m sounding just plain dumb, I am when it comes to technology.  I’m the very first person to admit that technology and I don’t get along.  I know I could easily apply myself, spend hours playing with my phone to learn all the wonderful things it can do, but I simply don’t want to.  For the last fifty-five years, I’ve been used to getting directions, reading road signs and getting where I need to be by trial and error.  I never felt like I needed a GPS system, besides, there is always a gas station where I could stop and get directions.

 The gas attendant always knows how to steer me in the right direction.  

When I tapped on the word, a full screen road map appeared.  I was asked the address of my destination.  It already knew from where I was starting my trip.  This was all new to me as I am just an old-fashioned girl and have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century more than once.

I entered the address of my destination and the map came to life.  A friendly female voice told me where to go straight, make turns and even pointed out hidden police cars and pot holes.  THIS WAS AMAZING!

Later that night I explained to Ken what I had learned about WAZE.  We were visiting our daughter at her home in New Jersey the following weekend and although we know how to get there, we still used WAZE just because it was new, exciting and fun.  A quarter of the way into our hour and a half trip, the cheery, helpful female voice became annoying; and as we tried to carry on a conversation, we were constantly being interrupted by  voice telling us that in 1,045 feet we should turn left.

“Maybe we can turn that off now,” Ken suggested.

“Okay, I’ll give it a try.” No luck.  It wanted to get me to New Jersey and there was no stopping it.

“Just turn off the volume,” said Ken.

Oh good. I know how to do that.  With the volume turned off completely, we continued our conversation about what color to paint the family room.  Suddenly we heard, “In 950 feet, turn left.”  And ten seconds later we heard, “There is a pothole on your right in 120 feet.”

“I thought you turned off the sound?”

“I did.  It must have a mind of its own.”  I checked that the volume was turned off and still it continued to direct us.

“I’m beginning to feel like we’re in a horror movie where the cell phone is a demonic entity trying to take us somewhere remote and sinister.”

WAZE continued speaking to us until we finally heard the words, “You have arrived at your destination.”

joannfrancella@aol.com