I daresay that some of you on here either have - or know someone who has - one of the domestic digital spies that we are being told are essential to modern living. I haven't succumbed yet because I remain capable of writing a shopping list and adding things to it, turning lights on and off, selecting a TV channel, playing the music I want to hear, blah blah blah. I was reading an article in the press about the meteoric rise of these things (and how it all went wrong on Christmas Day as Mr Bezos' empire failed to obey the demands of all the new spies being switched on) and an interesting point was raised.
We are building a generation who will be used to barking orders at a machine that reacts without a please or a thank you. How long before orders are being barked at each other without the common courtesies? This led me to think about why common courtesies have not been built into electronic wizardry, surely it isn't that hard to ensure an Alexa or similar won't respond until please is uttered, and for it to make an irritating noise that cannot be shut off until thank you is heard.
People are leading increasingly self-contained and self-centred lives, the gadgetry, which was designed to unite us, separates us. I have seen on more than one occasion a family out for a meal, all on their phones and only talking to someone else (the waiter) to order their food. How long will it be before one of them barks 'Alexa! Get me a tiramisu!' because they have forgotten they are not at home? DD
Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben