I am not a Luddite. I’ve had a computer since the DOS and floppy disc days. The computer was a device that meant I was smart for wielding such a tool. As devices have become “smart,” I’m not sure that still applies.
My daughter bought me a smart watch so I could watch my pulse rate after I had a bit of a cardiac event. She tells me, “It knows when you look at it.” Displaying the time at a glance. How does it know I’m looking at it and not just staring into space? I’m a writer. I do that a lot.
“It can tell when you exercise.” Rewarding such noble performance with joyous animated graphics. My daughter sets hers to 10,000 steps a day. I have yet to find the setting or see the cartoon for Eureka! She got out of the chair!
“It can talk to your phone.”
The device that knows my every secret and perverse desire. And everywhere I’ve ever been? Why would I want that?
I suspect my devices are conspiring behind my back.
Then came the new car.
The car and phone interfaced before we even drove away from the dealer. Keyless entry is the newest thing. In place of a key is a little doodad that when you have it in your pocket the car senses your approach and turns on the exterior lights. Just like a good friend who leaves the porch light on.
Once you’re in, press a button and the car starts.
However, if you leave the little doodad on the dresser in the bedroom, the car won’t know you from Adam.
Consequently, I found myself talking to a car that wouldn’t go.
It’s me, Car.
Ask the watch.