Most under-25s can't read a map because they rely on sat-navs

Over two-thirds of under-25s are reduced to dribbling wrecks when confronted with paper maps, a survey conducted by MyVoucherCodes has revealed.

Rory Reid
2 min read

We've always suspected modern man's reliance on technology erodes brain cells. Many of us here at Crave are unable to formulate thoughts without the help of a Google search, or calculate simple sums without WolframAlpha -- so it comes as no surprise to learn that two-thirds of young adults are unable to read maps due to a reliance on sat-navs.

That's according to a survey conducted by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk -- a discount Web site. The company's research found that 67 per cent of under-25s are reduced to dribbling wrecks when confronted with maps printed on that flexible wood pulp-based material our ancestors referred to as 'paper'.

When asked why this was, 78 per cent of the 1,976 respondents said they "didn't need to" because they relied on sat-navs. Nineteen per cent -- presumably those who don't have sat-navs -- said they dump navigation responsibilities on passengers they rope in for new journeys.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone who uses sat-navs manages to get to their destination without hassle. Just under half of those polled said that they still get lost on journeys, despite using the electronic devices, but 17 per cent said this consequently made them bother to learn to read a map.

MyVoucherCodes chairman, Mark Pearson, confessed the findings were eye opening. "It's actually quite surprising to find two-thirds of under-25s can't read a map," he said. "Whilst sat-nav does take away a lot of the stress associated with trying to find your destination, it doesn't always take you to the right place. Map reading can be an invaluable skill to have; you never know when you might need it!"

We suppose he does have a point. We hear paper maps never run out of battery or lose GPS signal at inopportune moments. Most also support multi-touch, and zooming in on an area is often as simple as moving your face closer to the page. But is that functionality enough to convince you to pick up your atlas, or will you stick with sat-navs for their convenience?

Navigate to our comments section below, or our Facebook wall, and let us know.