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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Chucking out my old Amazon Echo for the new one made me feel like a Pixar villain

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When swapping out my old first generation Amazon Echo for the stylish new Amazon Echo (2020) I thought I’d feel relief, joy, excitement. Instead, I feel guilty.

You see, my old Amazon Echo has been a part of my household for years now. A very vocal part of my house as well, sometimes helpfully chipping in with weather updates, or reminding me not to burn my dinner, and sometimes less helpfully when it gets randomly triggered and starts waffling on about goodness knows what.

Over the years it’s followed me and my family through two house moves. I got it to control all my smart home devices so successfully that it led to me actually forgetting how to turn on a light normally.

It’s been a familiar presence during this time, and as my family grew, its role changed. Thanks to ‘skills’ like Spotify and BBC Kids, it now reads stories to my 18 month daughter, and plays her absolute favorite band in the world, The Wiggles, almost constantly. She’s even started trying to trigger it – calling ‘Etta, Etta’ at the dusty old cylinder in the corner of the room.

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