Did you or anyone you know ever own one of those TomTom GPS units in the early 2000s?
(For younger readers — yes — that was a thing; people used to own a separate device from their cell phone, that they would keep in their car, and its sole purpose was to give directions. This is mind-blowing, I know. Remind me to tell you about desk clocks.)
If you used one, you might remember how it would tell you that you had deviated from the course laid out for you:
It was as if the whiny, overconfident voice of condescension was telling you, “Hey there. Hi. In case you didn’t realize it, you’re not paying attention, and you made the wrong move. I’ll help you out on this one, since you seem incapable.” The oddly-effeminate-sounding and twice-named ‘Tom’ didn’t know if you stopped following along or you stopped for gas — it went straight for, “Idiot.”
If you remember those days, then at the turn of this decade, Google Maps for your smartphone was a life-changer. Veer off-course? Miss your exit? Making a move in Words With Friends when you should’ve been making a left?
“Continue for 800 feet, then make a U-Turn.”
That voice isn’t going to make you feel stupid; it’s going to recognize that you made a simple mistake and show you the quickest way to get back on track. It’s there to guide the way and quietly make sure you know the right road — the road that will get you to where you need to go.
Now, back to desk clocks…