They’ve become the new “Can you hear me now?” commercials. Instead of that annoying guy walking around with a cell phone, we’re reading about it on all the social network sites. It’s one thing when Seth is hiding so he doesn’t have to attend a meeting, but it’s quite another when you log onto Facebook and see the location of people you know and are subjected to their daily traveling habits. The gym and then the Golden Corral? Really?
My partner was traveling by car from Phoenix to Chicago recently and when I asked that he please call me once in a while during the day so that I knew what his progress was, he suggested I “get with the program” and finally log in to Google Latitude. Yes, get with the program. Isn’t that a lovely way to show one’s gratitude when the other is concerned about your well-being? He embraces technology and I stand there looking at and muttering “Uhhhhhhh…”
But, yes, I finally gave in, logged in, accepted his share request—which means he can now apparently also see my whereabouts and that’s boring since I’m only ever at work or at home…or Best Buy—and can now see his location on a map. There are two catches. First, he has to remember to activate the feature on his phone, which he doesn’t always do. I asked how difficult it was to do since he has one of those Android phones. He answered my question with the same question since I apparently have an Android phone, too. Revelations, I tell ya. Second, the feature actually has to work. I find that it’s all too often not quite accurate.
During my aforementioned partner’s trip to Chicago, I did monitor his progress because I took the very same trip two years prior and remembered the route. Then, when I saw he was miles off course, not an uncommon occurrence in his life, I’d call to ask what he was doing instead of paying attention to the GPS. This usually triggered a response of the sarcastic kind and Latitude corrected itself a short time later. Well, he (that partner guy) is now overseas and I’m attempting to see how Google Latitude does there. It has him in the water so far. On a plus note, at least they have him in the right country.
Latitude also allows you to save a history of the places you’ve been. It sounds neat, but then I’m not fond of that function either. With the amount of cyberstalking going on these days, friends, family and employers being able to track and store your every movement…I believe it’s just adding to the “too much information” available out there. Then, too, my generation didn’t start off with pagers, cell phones, GPSs, wireless modems and the internet and we survived just fine.