It was bound to happen. One more app I couldn't resist, and my cellphone rebelled.
"Go 3 miles north and turn right," said the Waze lady. Only problem was, I was already at my destination, and she refused to shut up.
Then came the phone freeze, the black screen, the flashing screen. The sleek little mobile I once carried for emergencies has become -- ta-dah! -- an overloaded app-mobile.
In addition to Waze, I have nearly 50 other little icons ready to help "just in case." Most hopped onto my screen on the recommendation of some other app fanatic or because they seemed to be required for something that -- now that you mention it -- I could not live without, or because I just can't resist things that are free.
Waze met both requirements plus -- how can I say this? -- I felt "philosophically aligned." It's the first pro-social GPS I ever met. Everybody helps everybody else. In service of "outsmarting traffic, together" (the Waze motto), if I see a pothole, I report it to Waze. If there's an accident ahead, I let Waze know. And magically, this information is shared.
Plus, in the process of earning points by driving and helping out, I have the opportunity to climb the Waze ladder -- from being a mere Waze baby with a pacifier in the my mouth all the way to Waze royalty with a crown. I never saw a competition I didn't like.
Like the other apps, Waze pointed to problems I didn't realize I had and offered a way to fix them. It said it could analyze traffic load and send me a message when I needed to leave for my next stop. It told me the closest parking lot and how long it would take to walk from there. Although I'm not sure how this helps, it can send a picture of where I'd parked to other "Wazers" in the area.
Unfortunately, although it's relatively small, Waze is pushing my storage limits, which leads me to the tough choice of which little icons to keep and which ones to press till they wiggle on my screen so I can delete them.
Should it be the bank app that lets me deposit small checks painlessly? The Venmo app that makes it easy to pay people back for this or that? The Hospitality app that lets me access the lockbox code on vacation rentals?
I actually paid $2.99 for the Sleep Pillow app the other night at an airport hotel to cover up the ping ping ping sound from the air-conditioning system, so I'd hate to get rid of that. The grocery-store app seems essential now that I've used it to save 78 cents on store-brand cheddar cheese. And in case I ever take the BoltBus out of Portland again, it's really handy to know if it still leaves for Seattle at 1:15.
I could certainly remove my pictures (a whopping 14.73 GB), but I'm always using my phone as a photo album. There are not enough months in the year to delete all my mail and messages. And Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn -- who could live without those?
So it might be Waze on the chopping block. But then again, I keep getting messages on earlier departure times for a 4:30 meeting, which tells me there's a traffic jam somewhere I need to know about. And a site called Hacker Noon says a solution for app overage is on the way.
Guess what: They're developing an app for it.
Balancing Act author Pat Snyder is a northwest Columbus resident and life-balance speaker and coach. Find her at PatSnyderOnline.com.