My mom just told me she would “stop with Alexa.” What she meant by this was that she did not wish to be involved with any technology beyond that of her Amazon bluetooth voice service device. My mom asks Alexa questions she does not know the answer to. At dinner parties gets Alexa to tell jokes.
When she made her proclamation I immediately wondered what the version of my mom in 1985 would think of the version of herself in 2018. In 1985 she was or wasn’t married to my sister’s dad and they possibly lived in California or Connecticut or maybe Oregon. My mom is a woman of mystery- yet I’m sure at that time she never thought she would own a computer. Desk Set is one of her favorite movies.
In 2018 she falls asleep tucked into her bed, cradling her ipad softly. An Acorn stream luls in the background like crickets. She exemplifies how feared new technology is while it seduces with information and ease. We invite computational consciousness into our bed without question. We have all fallen in love.
My point of this is humbly thus…
Our emotions pervert the way we evaluate technology’s influence in our lives
From the past, technology is a specter
From the present, it is a party trick
From the future, it is
As I type this I hear my mom in a haze of frustration demand “ALEXA OFF… ALEXA OFF!!! ALEXA TIMER OFF!!!” My mom often claims Alexa is dumb and doesn’t like her.
My dad responds, “Just like a teenager!”
I sit contently in my childhood bedroom and think to Alexa, “Better you than me!”
Thank you Alexa for your patience and obedience and for being the daughter I could never be.