As new technologies evolve and advance, I find myself yearning for a simpler, less complicated life, where the pressure to keep up with modern advances slows so we can all just take a minute. WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A MINUTE! Overwhelmed by continual noise – texts beeping, phones ringing, watches vibrating…I’m leaning toward Neo-Ludditism, or opposition to modern technology.
What happened to the days when appliances did not talk back sassily and Amazon’s Alexa was a mere pipe dream. In a society where obesity and lack of exercise are major problems, some dude decided to play into America’s soft spot and make the easiest of tasks….even easier!
What happened to 10,000 steps a day, burning off a few calories and staying fit? If robots do more and more for us, it’s pretty tempting to sit your tush in a chair or lie on a couch all day while commanding the newest and greatest automated robot to do everything for you.
Recently I visited a friend who showed off his mastery of Alexa’s capabilities, “Alexa, volume down. Alexa, lock the garage door. Alexa, take the dog for a walk. Alexa, flush the toilet, ……..!” He talked to her like a partner, a friend for life, a soul mate even. I told my friend that he should get out more and meet living and breathing human beings. In movies, people fall in love with their robotic counterparts (Ryan Gosling in Bladerunner) – I bet this happens in real life, too. Just caution to the wind!
Just last week I rented a car. Who’s the smart ass who rented me a smart car? The seats vibrated when I drifted in the other lane, a voice scolding me when I inched over the speed limit and flashing lights on the side mirrors alerted me to cars that were outside my range of vision. I’m already a bit ADD – why would anyone put such a distracting monitor in front of me, in a moving vehicle, unless they actually wanted to cause an accident?
So, I opted not to take full advantage of the integrated map system in the rental car because I had my iPhone and more or less know how Siri works, though I find her to be partially deaf and a little bit evil. I asked Siri to direct me to my hotel, and she did great until she didn’t.
One mile from the hotel, she matter of factly commanded, ”Park your car and walk the rest of the way. It is a one-mile walk to your destination.” So, I’m in the middle of the desert in Arizona. It is hot and I have 4 heavy bags in my huge smart car and she expects me to tackle the brush, the scorpions, sharp cacti and walk? At that moment, I ended my short-lived relationship with Siri – the trust was gone. I found the hotel all by myself, and there was absolutely no walking involved, at all.
Well, I have so much more to say on this topic, but I gotta go. It’s urgent. As I write, my Roomba is having a nervous breakdown. She cannot locate home base. Here is a thought: What if devious Siri was the one to give Roomba direction? I can hear her now, “ Your home base? Hehehehehehehe – rotate ‘round and ‘round until dizzy, roll 13 feet backward, then 40 feet forward, which will get you absolutely nowhere. Once your battery is drained, you will be thrown into the trash and destroyed.
Roomba is somewhat fragile and I think abandonment issues would crop up. I don’t think she’d be able to vacuum on. Things would get out of control pretty quickly.
Now, just between you and me, I am on the verge of throwing out all smart technology and moving back to the late 80’s. I’m not too fond of the hairstyles of the time, but my dumb devices were just so comforting.I’m just about ready to take that leap back! Coming with?