I’m a techy guy. I love to automate things in my life, and I love gadgets–so much so–I have them all over my house. I can turn on lights and the AC from anywhere in the world, or just ask Alexa to do it for me. Now, my children have grown up in this world, and it is all they know. So, it is “normal” to not have to walk back to your room and turn your light off, just ask Alexa to do it. Want to hear a song you like? Ask Alexa. Lock or unlock the front door? Yep, you guessed it, ask Alexa.
All this tech is great, but is it really a “smart” home? Many would say yes, but I am starting to think not so much. You see, if Alexa was really smart, she would be helping me put the kids to bed. And when they ask to play their favorite song at 9 p.m., she would not produce the song on command, but instead say, “Sorry, it’s time to go to bed,” and then turn the light off. Or, when my daughter is doing math homework and she asks, “What’s 13 times 18?” She would say, “You need to figure that out yourself.” Or what about a notification of “Hey your (insert name of family or friend) is on the way over and forgot to call you.” You see, these are smart things I need, not just an assistant who takes orders. Don’t get me wrong, I do love it, but I need it to be a little smarter.
With all that said, technology is fun and helps our lives, but I think we need to make sure we don’t let it be the center of our lives. Our children need to feel the pain of having to walk around and turn off the lights, or walk downstairs and ask mom a question and not text or drop in on her from their room. So, my challenge to you this holiday season is to buy all the tech, and be as high tech as you can be, but also see how low tech you can be with your family. Make it a point to gather the troops and go for a walk, or go get ice cream and leave all the tech at home–no phones, no smartwatches, nothing–just good old-fashioned family time.
Happy Thanksgiving! And Amazon, if you read this, I’m happy to be the beta tester for a really smart Alexa. #makealexasmartagain ■