Okay Google, Write My Blog

Well folks, this is it. The future, that is, the real future, is finally here. It's not just smart phones and high powered gaming computers anymore. No, we aren't yet flying our cars, but look around you, it has begun. The automated home of the future past has become commonplace. Except now we call it the smart home because we know that complimenting and stroking the AI ego is simply good practice lest we accidentally set off the inevitable robot uprising with a thoughtless, pre-coffee insult. It's a good thing there's a diploma course for just such a scenario.

But all jokes aside, what a truly inspiring and terrifying time to be alive. To clarify, I'm not talking about the terror of 50 ft tall Killbots coming to destroy the world. 

In his best Urkle voice: "Did I do that?"
(Art by David M. Kelly)

I'm talking about the mundane terror that scifi tends to gloss over in chosing to focus on the sexier issues of robot rights and saving the world from invaders. Privacy concerns have escalated, naturally, given that we are now inviting corporations into our homes through sleek devices meant to make life easier. Social media has made it too easy for special interest groups to dictate who and what governs us. 

It is not my intention with this post to focus on the bad aspects of technology (though ignoring it is complacency and yes, I encourage everyone to be mindful and active *cough*VOTE*cough* in what shapes our future). Instead, this is simply a way to let you all know, this is my stop. This is where I disembark the magical rocketship of future tech. 

You see, as much as I've championed progress, as much as I've sung the praises of my Nexus 6 (who is STILL GOING!!!), as much as I enjoy watching that which sci-fi authors once dreamed of come into being, I must admit, mundane tech is now beyond me.

That's right, for all attentive porpoises, I'm kind of an internet of things Luddite. I don't have a smart home. Heck, my Kindle added an Alexa feature and the first time she started yammering at me about everything she could do, I went straight for the settings and shut all that down.  Why? Well for one, yes, despite everything I've said before and the fact that I've got no less than 5 devices in this house listening to me at any given time, I'm not keen to add another. And that's not just paranoia about the powers that be. I'm also doing every one of my friends and family a service by disabling most apps access to my camera and microphone so that I don't inadvertently try to set up a video conference while—let's just call it–not in my best form.

For me, there's another reason I've yet to embrace automated everything and that's simply that I don't need to and there is the very real fact that doing so may actually be harmful instead of helpful. I mean, first we have to admit that for people with limited mobility, turning on the lights or adjusting the temperature without getting up is a fantastic advancement. In terms of personal security, it's great to be able to turn on the lights in your home before getting out of the car. But I'm a healthy adult who is actively trying to avoid a future that involves limited mobility, so perhaps it is in my best interest to get up and turn out the lights, or to get in the car and go grocery shopping.

You see, it isn't resisting my robot overlords in as much as it's simply choosing which overlord to pledge my loyalty to. For the time being, I'm still team Fitbit. When Alexa has the ability to turn my impulse buy cake into a kale salad, perhaps we'll talk.