It seems like personal digital assistants are all the rage. In fact, there are so many different ones to choose from that even people who don’t want to admit they use one often do so, sometimes without even realizing it. If you think about the digital assistants that are available from Amazon or the devices such as Echo and Alexa, you might be thinking that you aren’t quite ready for the whole idea of talking to some digital device that will then turn the heat up or down or turn the lights on or off, all on your behalf. Even if that describes you to a tee, there is still a chance that you have used one of these assistants in the past, maybe even every day. The thing is, you might have been doing it without even knowing what was really happening.
They Are Everywhere
The truth is, these types of digital devices exist in almost all walks of life now. You may think that you are trying to keep things as normal as possible, refraining from the idea of utilizing such a device but if you use an Apple iPhone or you search the internet with Google, you are already exposing yourself to these digital assistants. You see, both Apple and Google utilize your search history and other information to try to guess what is most important to you, then they place ads right in front of your face that are tailored to fit what they think you are most interested in. You might not notice it at first, but if you stop and think about it, you may have noticed that the last time you Googled anything about dogs, you had ads for dog food popping up left and right. They even know your location in most cases. Sometimes it makes you feel like you are being watched by someone even if you have tried to avoid technology in all its forms. Does that mean you should be avoiding it or can it be more of an advantage than a hindrance?
The Good Things About This Technology
There are a lot of advantages to using this technology. It helps you find sales in your area, not to mention helping you find a location that you are searching for through Google Maps or something similar. If you have an iPhone, there is a better than average chance that you have picked up that phone and asked Siri a question at least a time or two. However, you might find that it really makes your life a lot easier if you have an actual digital assistant in your home or office that can anticipate your needs and desires and then carry those actions out, like turning the heat up or down or adjusting the lights.
Of course, there are also disadvantages associated with this type of technology. Nobody really likes to feel like someone is always watching them and it has definitely gotten to that point. You might be wondering how much some arbitrary database really knows about you. Maybe you are worried that it will make you soft when you have some digital assistant to do so many different things for you and you no longer have to do them for yourself.
Are You Being Manipulated?
The thing that tends to worry people the most is whether or not they are actually being manipulated by all of these digital devices. You have probably heard the horror stories of someone that drove straight into a lake because Siri told them to turn left instead of right or the people who went along with some advertisement they weren’t really interested in to begin with. However, how do you know if you are being manipulated in other ways as well? If you are no longer required to do mundane daily tasks on your own, are you really being allowed to have the free time necessary to think about the things that really matter or are you allowing someone else to control your environment because you are no longer required to do it yourself? Of course, this is an intensely personal answer and it is not one that will have the same results across the board.
When it really comes right down to it, every individual should decide for themselves how involved they really want to get with digital assistants of any kind. Some people love everything about the digital age, and they want to incorporate it into their lives as much as possible. Others might consider themselves to be more “old school,” so to speak. These individuals are desperately trying to hold on to the way life that existed twenty, thirty, or even forty years ago and they want nothing to do with all of this new technology. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with either of these choices, the truth of the matter is that being able to function in today’s world probably lies somewhere in between these two extremes. There is nothing wrong with using digital assistants to be sure, but you should never give up the idea of doing things for yourself or even more importantly, thinking for yourself.