Henry Grabar's article "Smartphones and the Uncertain Future of 'Spatial Thinking'" hit home! A recent experience navigating DC left me with a sense of unease as I was unable to recall any of the street names near a place that I visit often. I relate to the following:
"But I've lately undergone a crisis of confidence: I find it hard to hit the road without consulting my phone. And while I'd like to think the recommended route (from Google, Waze, Hopstop, etc.) is just one influence among many—that I have other preferences their algorithms can't perceive—I'm not too proud to confess that I trust the computer more than I trust myself. The habits, hubris, and quirky predilections that once manipulated my movements are being replaced by the judgments of artificial intelligence."
Sitting in my car, I realized that not only do I not know the surrounding streets, but I also didn't have a sense of how to get home by car or foot. I have become so dependent on the phone that I often use Google maps to orient myself while on foot!