“So, what…you just talk to it and then what?” asks my hard-of-hearing dad upon seeing our Echo for the first time. “Lexus, do something!”
“Dad, it’s Alexa.” I correct him.
He tries again. “Oh-lexit.”
“UH-LEX-UH. You know what? Nevermind.”
My dad never grasped the device—and even if he did, he wouldn’t have been able to hear her respond—but the rest of my family took to her immediately. Of course, the first day with your new Echo is filled with the usual grade school antics of trying to get her to say a dirty word, giving up on that, and just swearing at her directly.
The decision to buy an Echo was one I was nervous about. They looked interesting, but I worried about the “always listening” Big Brother device I was inviting into my home. You know what? Screw it. What is the FBI going to do with endless audio of me baby-talking to my dog like an idiot? “Who’s a good boy? That’s right! You are!” See what I mean?
And we didn’t just buy the Echo. No sir. This was our big, fun, tech gift for Christmas, so we also got a Dot for every bedroom. Now we have four of these surveillance assistants all over the house. Three months later, not only do I still use it, I freaking love it.
Now I constantly have music playing throughout my house. My music. That my kids don’t like. Loudly. If they don’t become Wu-Tang Clan fans soon, they may end up being someone else’s kids. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a timeless classic.
When I am getting ready in the morning, Alexa reads me my news from NPR. Fox News is an option, but…no.
When we cook, she sets our timers. And by we, I mean my wife.
Before I go running, she tells me the weather. I don’t even look outside first!
After dinner, we play Jeopardy so we can feel stupid as a family.
At night, I sleep better because she plays ocean background noise (you can’t listen to Wu-Tang all the time).
She reminds us all when to wake up in the morning. My teenage kids don’t listen, but at least Alexa does her job.
My daughter thinks her jokes are hilarious (they aren’t).
This is the just stuff we use daily. We don’t even take full advantage of everything Alexa can do, so my fears of it being an unused novelty appear to be unfounded. Unlike the Apple Watch, Alexa provides something useful that will enhance your life. If you want to fight with me about the Apple Watch, name the time and the place. That thing is pointless.
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Dave Skorepa is Chief Creative Officer at Aztek Web in Cleveland, Ohio.