My wife and I have a ritual. If I’m running late at the office (which seems to be happening more frequently as I prepare to leave an endless number of big projects behind for paternity leave in a month), I will send a text letting her know that I will be taking the later train.
Today, as my workday seeped past 5:00 to the point where the 5:47 train was my best bet, I received the following text from her:
“I know your late train secrets.”
I frequently forget that for the better part of a year, we have enabled location tracking services on Google Maps that allow us to always see where the other person is located on the Earth at any given moment.
Aside from making life easier, I think this would be an easy way to ensure marital fidelity and honesty in relationships. You shouldn’t have any Google Maps-related secrets that you would want to keep from your spouse anyway, right? Plus it’s just fun to watch the small icon of her face slowly going on its epic journey to the grocery store in real time, or being out of town and looking longingly at that face hovering over your neighborhood on the map.
Aside from demanding honesty from users, this feature has been very useful on a couple occasions when we were sure that Theresa had left her phone at a restaurant after we had driven back home. It works wonders in reassuring you of the phone’s general location when a test call isn’t enough to reveal its coordinates via the unnerving and difficult-to-pinpoint sound of a phone vibration.
If one of our phones ever gets stolen, it will be interesting to watch my or Theresa’s head making a geo-mapped getaway. Until then Theresa will just have to settle for the mundanity of watching my icon zip back and forth from downtown on the train…and she’ll always know what time to expect me for dinner.