Navigating Your Way Out of a Big City in the Days Before Smartphones


Life Before Cell Phones 5 of 5: Navigating Your Way Out of a Big City in the days before Smartphones

Let’s say you’re driving in a city you never visited before—feeling cool and confident and hip—and then, when it’s time to go home and tell the tribe of your daring adventure, you discover you’re not quite the homing pigeon you thought you were. You haven’t got a clue how to escape the madness of the busy streets, back to the peace and quiet of your nice little suburb!

Well, without a Smartphone to provide you with extremely detailed directions via GPS satellite, you’d have to reach into your leather satchel and pull out a fresh roll of parchment and, with quill pen, start compiling a hand-drawn map while you methodically drive through every street in the city one by one. If you’re fastidious enough you’ll eventually end up with a basic idiot’s map of the entire city. Of course, a city map wouldn’t mean anything to you by itself. It’s just squiggles and lines. Very confusing. You’d have to study the map for hours, searching for patterns in civic engineering that might suggest where the ancient city planners intended for the primary flow of traffic to enter and exit the bustling prospective metropolis. Then you could merely visit these points one by one until you found the on-ramp to the freeway.


Nobody cry, but that about wraps up our 5-part educational series “Life Before Smartphones.” If you have studied hard and read every article in the series, you are probably qualified to know whether or not life was more convenient before or after Smartphones. And—though I’d love to take your word for it—there will be a brief quiz in the following post to help reinforce what we have learned. But don’t sweat it; though I will not release an official “study guide,” you can prepare for the quiz by re-reading and “liking” all five lessons, twice.

Don’t screw this up. I’ll even make it easy for you. Here are the links to every post in this groundbreaking educational series:

Life Before Smartphones

Playing “Angry Birds”

Making a Late Night “Booty Call”

Taking Down a Girl’s Number

Taking Snapshots

Navigating Your Way Out of a Big City

I cannot talk to you anymore until after the quiz.

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1 Response to Navigating Your Way Out of a Big City in the Days Before Smartphones

  1. cestlavie22 says:

    Well I will say that series sure taught me a lot. This girl can get lost in a paper bag so I have to say a smartphone is needed for me. If I was stuck in the city without a smart phone I would be buying an apartment and getting a new job because home would be an impossibility for me.

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