I’m far from a Luddite. My husband is a computer engineer so we’ve got a lot of tech playthings. Between us we have four computers, one tablet, four smartphones, three external hard drives, various spare computer parts, and a Kindle e-reader. We have our own modem (not the Comcast one) and a shared home network so we can access files from any device. I have multiple email accounts, multiple social media accounts, and this blog. I spend most of my day online- it’s where I work, play, shop, and communicate with friends.
Even so, I have my limits.
Sometimes I can be a little bit paranoid (although the recent NSA and iCloud leaks proved that much of my paranoia is actually good sense). So as connected as I am, I don’t like to have too much brand integration. Even though all these entities are likely buying, selling and sharing my information amongst themselves, why make it easier by having my whole life wrapped up in one company? So I use different platforms for email, video chat, and cloud storage. Plus, if any given one of those platforms crashes, I don’t lose ALL my information. Still, there are some things I just can’t get with.
I was watching At Midnight the other week and they did a segment on a new app that lets randoms give you a wake up call in lieu of an alarm clock. Wait, what? That’s terrifying for me. That would be the WORST morning ever, not to mention an introvert nightmare. Having to get out of bed before 9:30 is bad enough, but having to do so while being forced to talk someone who I don’t know is just too much. Stranger danger and unwanted social interaction at the same time? *shudder*
When I look at this I can’t help but think about the sci-fi show Continuum. One of the plotlines was that Canada became a fascist police state, where the people are controlled through biofeedback from bracelets that are the latter day incarnations of fitness bands. Now I do have a Fitbit, but Microsoft Band ties in with the Microsoft Health app where you track your health statistics (blood type, weight, blood pressure, etc) along with your doctors, appointments, and your family history. I don’t trust it. Next thing you know you’ll be getting targeted ads about Jenny Craig or Ensure.
This is just egregious to me. Why on earth would I want to remote control the locks on my house? If I can do it, that means anybody can do it because all this information is transmitted over some type of wireless or data network, and those can be hacked. And I suppose it’s helpful to have cameras in your fridge and text alerts when you’re running out of milk. But it’s also kind of creepy. Artificial intelligence is advancing by leaps and bounds. It’s only a matter of time before somebody f*cks up and decides robots should have choices. Whatcha gonna do when your house locks you out?
Basically, I’m not here for the Internet of Things. As connected as I am now, all I have to do is turn off my devices and I’m back in a mostly analog world. Neither my Zune mp3 player (yep, I’m riding that horse into the sunset) nor my Kindle Touch have to be connected to the internet for me to use them. Every part of your life doesn’t need to be automated. We’re getting to the point where the convenience of emerging technology is far overshadowed by price we pay in privacy and autonomy. Stay woke.