Google Maps

Enter location. Enter destination. Start navigation.

That is the power of Google Maps, and it has become part of my everyday life, especially as an exchange student in a foreign country. Particularly when travelling to other countries, I basically live off Google Maps.

These days, before I go out anywhere, I always check the directions to the place, the available transportation and also the time of the next train/bus via Google Maps.

Google Maps started off more than a decade ago, and was way simpler than it is today. Now, it offers many functions such as satellite imagery, street maps, 360 degree panoramic views of the streets, real time traffic conditions, and route planning on different types of transportation (even bikes!).

But with this convenience and user-friendliness, I have also begun to think to myself: is this really a good thing? Sure, it makes life way more convenient and we are able to move at a quicker pace, without stopping and without annoying breaks.

But, this also means we are no longer walking the roads less travelled, we are no longer exploring the “less convenient”, “longer” routes, we are no longer navigating without the help of a super intelligent digital map. Our reliance on digital technology is shocking.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it may be an idea to just walk aimlessly and see where the roads take you.