Is it just convenience or is your thinking outsourced?

A few months ago, I was in Dallas airport at the Hertz counter waiting for my turn. The gentleman in front of me seemed to have a problem with his car reservation.  The Hertz folks were telling him that they have run out of GPS navigators for the rental cars and next time the gentleman should book one in advance. The gentleman was insisting that he did reserve it and was confused why it didn’t come up on the reservation. The gentleman was saying that he would be happy to pay twice or thrice the amount if Hertz could find a GPS Navigator as there was NO way of him to drive without a GPS Navigator.

The rest of the story is not important but it made me think. Obviously, GPS is something that became commonplace only in the last few years. Before that we still got around to where we wanted to go. GPS is convenient but if it induces dependency problems, it may be stretching it too much.

Of course, there are many more cases where the line between “just convenience” and “thinking outsourcing” blurs. Here are a few of them:

* You can’t remember the phone numbers of your close friends. You got to look up your PDA or phone book.

* You can’t remember the URLs of the ten of your favorite websites. Why remember? you can look at your favorites or just search on Google.

* You don’t remember the email addresses of half of your colleagues in the company. It’s on your address book.

* You don’t remember your schedule for TODAY. It’s on your calendar on the computer.

* You don’t remember birthdays of your close friends and family members. You have set reminders for them on your calendar or some web based service.

I am sure you have observed yourself or others become slaves of convenience. Catch yourself when this is taken to an extreme. We all want conveniences but we never want it to reach a level where our thinking is outsourced.

Have a great week ahead!