Peak 2018? Women Won’t Date Men Who Yell At Alexa

The thing about Peak 2018 is that there is no longer a peak: it’s just one short jump from one Everest sized peak to the next by the SJWs/virtue signalers. Everything is The Worst in their world, and they have to let everyone know that they’re Offended and Outraged, and they expect you to jump on the bandwagon and be Offended and Outraged

I Don’t Date Men Who Yell at Alexa

When Jeremy barked orders at his personal assistant, she didn’t flinch, but I did. Something about the sound of his sharp, commanding tone—directed not at me, but still, at a woman—repulsed me. In the few weeks we had been dating, he had never spoken to me this way. But could he? Hearing Jeremy make ungrateful demands didn’t make him seem powerful or important. He sounded entitled and difficult, like someone who enjoyed commanding for the sake of commanding. He would ask her to do things he could easily do himself, almost as if to prove that he could. Surely, it would take less time to reach out and hit the light switch by the door than to bark “ALEXA. LIGHTS ON” every time he entered the apartment.

So began my habit of noting how men speak to their devices. Not all men are as bad as Jeremy, of course. There was also the sensitive Southern gentleman who tenderly asked Google to play him a thunderstorm (the “hey” added a welcome salutation, lessening the abruptness), and the workaholic surgeon who courteously entreated Alexa to order more paper towels. (His lilting tone turned “Alexa?” into a request rather than a command.) Smart speakers have only been around a few years, but they are rapidly becoming pervasive—with 1 in 6 Americans now owning one, up 128 percent from January 2017, it’s clear my smart home etiquette pet peeve is something I’ll continue to grapple with.

Anyone who tends to speak loud to their home assistant, raise your hand. My hand is up. And, regardless of pitch, yeah, you are ordering it to do something. Because it’s a freaking machine. It’s not a real person. Why do I have to explain this? Because it’s 2018, and some people are bat guano insane.

With the newly announced Echo Dot Kids Edition, Amazon seems to be recognizing similar concerns—but in children, not dates. The kid-friendly Alexa will include a “Magic Word” feature, which will offer “positive reinforcement for using the word ‘please’ while asking questions.” It’s not a moment too soon, with parents deeply worried about the effects of smart speakers on children’s social development. How does having an in-home helper who doesn’t expect a “please” or a “thank you” affect their manners? Will interacting with something—or someone, as it might feel to a child—so compliant make them excessively bossy? Are smart homes turning kids into “raging assholes,” as this 2016 blog post contends? The long-term implications of growing up in a smart home are untested and hard to predict.

Oh deal Lord, these people are nuts. Next up, they’ll probably complain about people speaking loud at their in-car voice system (I always tell people to speak in a regular voice, don’t yell at it).

One thing that is already clear: The way people speak to Alexa, Cortana, and Siri already changes the way I see them. It matters how you interact with your virtual assistant, not because it has feelings or will one day murder you in your sleep for disrespecting it, but because of how it reflects on you. Alexa is not human, but we engage with her like one. We judge people by how they interact with retail and hospitality workers—it supposedly says a lot about a person that they are rude to wait staff. Of course, waiters are more deserving of respect than robots—you could make or break a worker’s mood with your thoughtlessness, while Alexa doesn’t have moods (she only cares about yours). But the underlying revelation is the same: Who are you when in a position of power, and how do you treat those beneath you?

Just stop, please. Stop.

Perhaps if Alexa were Alex (and Siri, Sir) this wouldn’t be so unsettling. It’s hard to listen to a man call out a woman’s name followed by a command—it’s even harder not to wonder if the tone of the command was in any way influenced by the gendered word preceding it, with gender shown to have a big role in how people perceive bots. Maybe if we stop giving robots default female names and voices, as many have argued, I would feel less irked by men’s tone toward them. But perhaps, most disconcerting of all, men would be less rude to them if they sounded like dudes.

It’s a machine. And, men, and women, would speak to them in the same manner if they had a male voice. Because the vast majority of us understand it’s a machine with no feelings. And aren’t looking for something to be Offended and Outraged over. If only these same O&O people would put their energies into dealing with real things, like, say, bad/uncaring drivers. I’m outraged by the ever growing thing of blowing off stop signs. People not even doing slow and goes. When doing that, they aren’t even really taking the time to truly look both ways. I’m not going to dwell on this, done it enough in Real Life, but, one would think that if these people do not care about other people, they’d at least care about themselves and the tens of thousands of dollars they spent on an automobile.

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4 Responses to “Peak 2018? Women Won’t Date Men Who Yell At Alexa”

  1. Older people in particular speak louder to machines on the other side of the room because they think they NEED to in order to be clearly understood. For the same reason my mom mashes hard down on the smart phone touch screens. She grew up with manual typewriters and thins it doesn’t work right if you don’t hammer the keys crisply.

    Sounds to me like she just wanted everyone to know she is dating a doctor (who doesn’t have time to date her because he is a workaholic and turns a virtue into a vice by using the suffix “aholic”).

  2. formwiz says:

    I can’t help wondering if we’ll ever hit Peak Crazy with the Left.

  3. JGlanton says:

    I have to admit to getting frustrated and yelled a few expletives at the nav system in my new Subaru yesterday. I had to quickly get to a hiking spot in california. I clearly enunciated the simple local address, and it would begin navigating to some place in Maine. I had to give up and type the address in while driving, defeating the concept of safe hands-free driving. Got there with 1 minute to spare.

    I’ve just learned that hiking clubs are the hot dating scene. It’s 75% women. I was just there naively to get in better hiking shape. But then I realized they were sending scouts to quiz me on my relationship status. I told this to a lady friend and she said that’s what these clubs are about, and “first comes hiking, then comes liking”

  4. “I’ve just learned that hiking clubs are the hot dating scene…”

    There is no such thing as a hot dating scene for dweebs. If enough unattractive guys sign up for hiking, the attractive women will leave. Same thing happened to country western and ballroom dancing.

    I don’t need to worry about it. At my age, income bracket and body shape (under 6 feet tall), I am already invisible to most women.

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