Monday, April 9, 2018

Silencing Alexa

I love having my family home. I also love having a quiet house.

Unfortunately, those two things rarely go together.

Last Saturday, my husband's Echo Dot lost connection with our Internet. This happens from time to time at our house for reasons we can't quite explain. My typical solution is to wait five minutes and try again. It usually works.

My husband, on the other hand, wanted to troubleshoot and get to the root of the problem, which was not only perfectly logical but also resulted a longer period of quiet while Alexa had nothing to say.

This did not make me sad.

I don't remember which electronic device my husband had purchased when I bought Echo Dots for my daughter and me, but I do remember he had no interest in one. My daughter was lukewarm about hers, but I really enjoy mine. There are probably millions of things I can do with it that I don't do. Some of them I won't do, for privacy reasons, but others I'm looking forward to exploring one of these days. In any event, the Echo Dot was my toy.

Then, about six months ago, my husband decided an Amazon Echo would be a great addition to his office as a way to play music. Since his desk at home is in our mudroom, within earshot of most of the house, I was less than thrilled.

I've never been someone who works well in a noisy environment. There are some tasks I can do with music or in front of the television but, when I'm grading papers or writing, I typically need uninterrupted quiet. Unfortunately, these are tasks I need to do not only during the week, but also on Saturdays when my husband is home. Since he grew up in a large, noisy family, he likes having background noise, especially music, when he works on anything. Consequently, the addition of Alexa to our mudroom did not engender any enthusiasm on my part.

To his credit, my husband is considerate about the volume of his devices when I'm working, but it is his house, too (as he likes to remind me). We've found some workable solutions, but honestly, from a work perspective, none of the choices is quite as good as being home alone (and undistracted) in my quiet house.

And so, on Saturday, when Alexa was rendered mute by temporarily uncooperative wireless service, another idea popped into my head.

I wonder if Alexa accepts hush money.

And so I asked her (when my husband wasn't at home, of course). Her response? "I didn't get that."

Clearly I have some work to do. Meanwhile, I'll ask my husband to keep his earbuds charged.

No comments:

Post a Comment