Lost in the digital age Never

Alexandra Nicolas - Editor-in-Chief

Alexandra Nicolas – Editor-in-Chief

You missed your exit.

The Chart staff and I recently visited the nation’s Capital for the Associated Collegiate Press convention. The combination of many young people and a very large and unfamiliar city was, naturally, a source of worry for some members of the staff and a great amount of time was dedicated to making sure no one got lost. I am quite familiar with Washington, D.C., but as this trip went on it became more and more apparent to me that, in today’s world, one can never really be lost again.

So much of life is dedicated to making sure we know where we are at all times. In D.C. one could not keep ones eyes open for all the signs ready to tell you in bold face type “YOU are here.” There are dozens of sites ready to jump up and direct to whereever you wish to go. Most of these sites can be accessed not only on the archaic computer, but also through cell phone and PDA. Most high-end vehicles now come equipped with OnStar, or a global positioning satellite system or both. Many of these even give you the deliciously silky voice of some roadster goddess telling you when to turn.

Even if our touch screen, push button, automated big brother can’t tell us where we need go, it only takes a small amount of time to excavate the poorly folded roadmap from the cavernous depths of the glove compartment.

If all these systems fail you, the reflective green highway sign is still a staple for any traveler and there seems to be no end to the supply of creepy gas station attendants ready to tell you, “you just missed it,” or “drive until you hit the railroad tracks.”

Provided one succeeds in truly ‘heading off the map,’ anymore there isn’t very far to go. Highways end. We stretched our flat world over a spherical form quite a while ago. One can only go so far before one starts to come back the other way.

Nevertheless, there always seems to be that one person who is so certain they’ll wind up in the ninth circle of hell if they so much as turn the corner.

If we all were just to chill long enough to check the gas gauge and unearth that primordial map with the nasty crease through Kansas, we’d realize the highway is beyond that ridge, or just a few miles back.