Sunday, July 5, 2009

Everyday Tracking Devices

Jupiter, the planet of expansion and travel is sitting in Aquarius, the sign of originality and eccentricity. This will reveal itself in a series of new innovations, especially in the technological world and the world of travel. Perhaps will see new advances in travel technology itself.

One such advance that I just became aware of is the Loopt application on cell phones. No, I'm not paid to promote it, as you'll discover as you continue to read. Just stay with me for a moment. I saw a commercial for this application and, curious to learn more, I sought out information on the website. Loopt allows the user to find out where their friends are and what they're doing. What a cool idea. Instead of calling your friends to find out where they are, you can just look on your phone and find them easily, along with directions to get there. It's perfect for the friend on the go.

Or the stalker. Am I the only one who finds this terrifying? Granted, I'm all for the cell phones and I love technological advances that make our lives more convenient, but goodness, this seems to be crossing a line. After all, not so long ago, you had to wait until you got home to find out if someone had called. Nowadays, you're not just a Luddite if you don't have a cell phone; it's unthinkable. You're beyond passe. Many can't believe that someone can survive without a cell phone. In fact, I can't imagine what I would do if I didn't have a cell phone, but I do remember a time when I didn't have one. I didn't get my cell phone until my junior year of college. Even now, I don't have a phone that allows apps.

The idea that we could be reached at any given moment almost makes the supposed convenience and inconvenience. Fortunately, right now, you can ignore a phone call, especially with caller ID. Imagine if someone that you're not particularly interested in speaking to not only can call, but can show up to wherever you are without prior notice. And let's consider the possibility with ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriends or someone who is interested in you, but it's not reciprocal. Let's just add that into the mix. They can find you no matter where you are.

There is something to be said for being unreachable. Pack animals though we may be, we do not need to know where each member of the pack is at every moment of the day. Haven't we seen enough scifi or action movies where they put a tracker on someone? They always attempt to get rid of it immediately. Now, we're offering the exact same thing to anyone who wishes to have it (and can afford it)? I find that a frightening prospect.

Say what you will. I like being off-radar.


  1. Meet your friendly neighbourhood Luddite!
    The husband and I have one cellphone between us - a very basic one- no screen, pay-as-you-go. We've had it for 3 years and used it no more than a dozen times. We have On-Star in the car and have only used it for incoming calls on 2 or 3 occasions.

    Most of our lives we've grown used to having just a phone in the house, to use sparingly. I went for several years with no phone at all, relying on a call-box outside my apartment. It's not so bad!

    The world must surely have reached saturation point now phone-wise. :-)

    Yours truly
    A.Luddite. ;-)

  2. I have had two friends who have been without cell phones. One of them just recently got one (I think it has to do with his girlfriend). He had traveled around the country for about 5 years selling magazines, I guess he just got used to only occasionally phoning people. The other one doesn't have a job which I suppose sort of explains it, but he tends to act as his girlfriend's answering service when they're together.

    Me, I use my phone for the internet mostly (argument settlers and trivia checkers), and GPS now that I have an iPhone. The fact that it makes calls is just sort of a bonus. I for one won't be buying that app. I don't think need everyone to know when I'm stuck in traffic. How unnecessary. If someone really wants to know where you are, they can just as easily call or text. It would be somewhat more sociable.