The Internet of Us

Every day it seems another seemingly innocuous item is upgraded with some kind of internet connectivity. Some of it makes sense, smoke alarms, cameras, thermostats. Other’s…less so. I once bought a space heater that I didn’t realize until I got home came equipped with Bluetooth. “Oh, that’s neat,” I thought thinking that there was probably some app that I could control it with from my phone. Nope, just a Bluetooth connection to a really crappy speaker. That’s it, and it wasn’t even integrated into the electronics. Just something someone had stuck on the side because technology.

One wonders what all this connectivity is doing to us. There are discussions in universities about allowing students to use their phones on exams. After all, who is ever without their phone? If we don’t know something we’ll always have the internet it look it up on, right? For a number of years I worked in an office that, due to security restrictions, did not have internet access. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be an engineer without the internet? Medically pace makers and insulin pumps can be programmed over WiFi.

I grew up in the age before the internet. When Oregon Trail on a green monochrome Apple IIe was the height of technology. Where if you missed an episode of a show chances are you weren’t going to see it…ever. And if you wanted to hear a song on the radio you had to either hope you got lucky or call and request it…and then hope you got lucky. The Peanut is growing up in a time where every show, every song, every book ever made (with the exception of the missing Doctor Who) is available 24 hours a day whenever you want. Where a few clicks or a few words can put any number of shows or songs on any number of devices. Where information is constantly blasted at you non-stop, no matter where you are with no real way of turning it off.

Meeko showed me a neat trick today. Whenever The Hero of Time gets ornery all she has to do is say “Okay, Google,” and he’ll immediately stare at the TV. Remind me in 20 years to see if it still works…



Part of me secretly hopes the hot water heater will go so I can get a WiFi one…

Author: Jonathan Rodriguez-Lucas

I've traveled the world, but the exploration never ends. I've run marathons, but the race is far from over. I've completed life goals, but strive for more. I have questions with no answers, and answers to questions I've yet to ask.

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