I remember a conversation with my daughter about protocols with certain elements of social media.  In this case, it was Words with Friends.  I had just beat her in a game and so started another.  Apparently, that was a no-no.

Dad, the loser starts the new game.  That way, …

  • they can stop playing with you if they want
  • it’s only courtesy because there’s an advantage going first and that advantage should go to the person who just lost

So, I’ve been told.  Who knew there was a protocol for doing something right?  She did, and now so do I.

This past weekend brought to my awareness of a couple of things that perhaps is screaming that a protocol for these digital assistants is necessary.

Even before the advent of them, technology can be so intrusive.  I remember a person who had the same employer as me and always wore a bluetooth earpiece.  You could be in the middle of a meeting and a call would come in and it was always more important that continuing with the meeting.

And, we all know that it’s only courtesy to set your phone to vibrate when you’re in a public place.  How many times though are you listening to a concert or presentation or something and a phone goes off?

Sometimes, the preoccupation with technology is just fun to watch.  Over the weekend, I was killing some time browsing the PATH in downtown Toronto and watched a person who was more engaged in their device than noticing the fountain that he almost walked in to!

I saw a couple of instances where the digital assistant raised rudeness to a new level.  Imagine sitting with people and one person raises their finger (the teacher gesture to be quiet) so that they could “OK, Google” and get an answer to what they were curious about.

Or, getting on a train to come home thankful for booking early so that you get a window seat only to have the person next to you “OK, Google”ing all the time just asking for seemingly random things.  Fortunately, I had my noise cancelling headphones with me and popped them on to listen to some music while counting the trees until we got to Oakville, hoping he would get off.  Nope, he was there for the whole duration.

Now, you know that I like technology as much as the next person but there is a whole other world out there beyond you and your digital assistant.

Shouldn’t we respect that?

It’s not like you can just ask the person to respect you … that only solves the problem for one person.  It will pop up again with the next person.

I can’t help but think that things are only going to get worse.  What’s it going to take to stop this?  Maybe a reminder that you can always quietly type your query?

How about a proximity sensor?  “There are people within earshot; are you sure you still want to ask me a question?”

Society wants to know.


OTR Links 02/15/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.