Amazon Echo & Our Kids
Like many parents I love my Amazon Echo. It’s so useful and it seems like everyday I find out something new and helpful it can do. But I recently read an article that raised a good question. Is interacting with digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and the Google Home assistant turning our kids into brats? They are getting used to giving orders to digital assistants. That behavior may start to carry over into how they interact with actual human beings. Another new advancement in technology is the Asus ROG Smartphone which has incredible features.
But now I’m wondering if they are going to start ordering other people around the way they give orders to Alexa. And uses a cell phone spy app on others.
Testing The Product
So I set up an experiment. I put a small tape recorder in my daughter’s sweater pocket when I sent her to school so I can hear for myself how she interacts with other people on a daily basis. She was very bossy and gave orders to her friends like a little general. She would tell them, not ask them, what games they would play and when to do things. And she addresses teachers in the same way.
I emailed her teacher and explained what I had done and asked if my daughter was regularly this bossy and demanding with everyone and the teacher responded that she was. Apparently, the teacher was supposed to set up a meeting with my husband and I. But she has not had time to. After all this, I was horrified by my daughters behavior. I wondered if technology was to blame for this behavior.
Fixing The Situation
I was embarrassed, and I had to fix the situation immediately. But I wasn’t sure where to start. How do I explain that it was ok to give commands to Alexa but not other people? At my daughter’s age she doesn’t understand the difference. She hears a voice coming from the Amazon Echo and thinks that it’s a person’s voice. Since she gives commands to Alexa she assumes it is ok to give commands to everyone. The first thing I did was try to explain to her that Alexa isn’t a real person. But I’m not sure how well she understood me.
My husband and I talked about how to handle this and ultimately because my daughter is so young and can’t really understand we decided the best thing would be to have her address Alexa the way we would want her to talk to an actual person. And I have to admit it’s kind of amusing to hear her saying, “please” and “thank you” to Alexa and politely asking Alexa to read her a book or turn on her favorite music. But we’d rather have her learn to show everyone respect and courtesy. If you enjoyed this, check out my last article about what is steam?