Are you an Alexa-ite? Perhaps you are an Alexa devotee who relies on her soothing smooth talk to get you through your day. The world seems to be divided between those who have and don’t have Alexa. I feel as if I am in a minority pool in not wanting Alexa issuing reminders or responding to requests for things like ‘What is the weather going to be today?’ I much prefer watching a human point to little sun pictures on the UK map to inform me about the weather.
I have been accused of being ‘old’ in rejecting this technological advancement which consists of a voice without a body. There is something disconcerting about asking a circular hardware to remind me to, for example, put the washing on or to let the cat back into my home. At my age, 50s, isn’t relying on Alexa a clear pathway to dementia? Should I not be using my brain function to remember these things?
Being told that I am just being ‘old’ is straight off ageism. Come on, there must be loads of young people who don’t want Alexa speaking to them. Yet, a hesitancy to adopt some new practice or technology is always twinned with ageism if the person is over a certain age. Granted that some older people find it hard to navigate social media. I myself wrote a post encouraging midlifers to join social media.
Being scared of using something new isn’t just an age related anxiety.
I would hate to think that I have adopted a Luddite attitude, in my 50s, to a technological invention. I am active on social media and can work on Excel in a rather rudimentary way. I mention Excel because it has to be one of the scariest modern inventions when it comes to project management tools.
Instead of Alexa pumping out my favourite music I rely on You Tube for my 70s playlist. In fact it’s a rather more enjoyable experience because I get to watch the music in video form. Yes, granted I still use a pocket sized physical diary to record appointments instead of asking Alexa to remind me that it is World Fish Day or whatever but a Luddite I am not.
The fact that I use You Tube is proof of this. I seem to be doth protesting too much at this point.
The point is that ageism is extremely subtle. It is disguised in many ways. Failure to embrace every new invention is only one example of how reluctance is weaponised as ‘ageism’. Ageism often escapes under the radar because it is couched as a joke, much in the way sexism and racism occur. Call it out when you fall victim to it.