blame technology: this time GPS

What were you doing last Wednesday night? If you’re like Bo Bai of Sunnyvale, CA, you were driving in Bedford Hills, NY, when your GPS unit told you to turn right. So you turned right, even though it was a railroad track you were turning onto.

Yep, he turned onto railroad tracks. So, what happened then? Well, he got stuck, and according to an article from the The Journal News, he abandoned his car just minutes before a train came through and totaled the car.

So, why am I writing about it? Why do I care? Because this stupid human mistake is being blamed on technology. The GPS told me to do it, so I did it. What’s with people now-a-days? This isn’t an episode of The Office.

I don’t understand it. So many people have this perception that if it’s technology it must be right. How many times have you received one of those e-mails from a close friend or relative warning you about some computer virus? And then you forward it on to a few dozen of your own contacts. What is your reasoning? What is it that causes you to trust your Uncle Goober for computer advice? Well, it’s e-mail, it must be right.

And what about those people who respond to e-mails that ask for credit card information. If someone knocked on your front door right now, and said “I need your credit card number,” would you give it to them? Of course not. But it was e-mail, so it must be trustworthy.

Folks, technology makes our lives easier. As I’ve said numerous times in this blog, it puts food on my table and shoes on my kids’ feet, so I do get a bit defensive. But you can’t shut your brain off just because you sit down in front of a computer. Technology does not replace common sense.

What was Bo Bai thinking? Well, the fact that he’s a computer technician sure didn’t help him.