Digital diet

Last week, Wednesday evening. I’m approaching my digital high tech home. The light on the garage stays off. Holy moly, what’s that again? Didn’t my car send the right signals via cellphone connection to my home as I programmed it to do so? Again my excellent programming skills – good that I never became a professional developer. But this time it looks a bit different. The Internet connected sensors on my garage never failed, so what’s up today? My mood is decreasing again by 10 percent, immediately. So I unlock the door – old school. Fortunately, I never dared to exchange this for a Wifi connected version. “Alexa – turn lights on”. Huh, she’s not there? I’m staring into a dark room that was supposed to be at least a bit lighter. Again, in a somewhat stronger tone: “Alexa-ha, PLEASE turn lights ON”. „Excuse me, but I do have a damned Internet connection problem and the least I can now focus on is to turn your silly lights on – aren’t you able to get your hands on the switch yourself?“. Well, not the exact wording (Alexa wouldn’t use swear words), but that’s how it comes to me. The full truth out of a slim black speaker wearing a red glowing ring that underlines the lack of Internet here. Ok, new situation. Cope with that. Just call it, uh, a digital diet. Can’t be that bad. It’s just Internet, it’s like 30 years ago when no-one even thought about connecting talking digital assistants to the Internet. Not to mention my lights – I’m still in the dark, fiddling around with my fingers on the wall, searching for that switch that I rarely used in the last years. Found, pressed, lights on! Life is possible even in 2018 without the Internet. But once you are used to your habits it’s hard to switch back. How to set a timer for the evening tea without simply asking for it? „Alexa, set a timer for five minutes“ is so much simpler than grabbing your iPhone, swiping up on the screen, searching the clock symbol, touching the timer function, rotating the numbers to a solid five and finally pressing the start symbol. This one is so 2015! I skip the idea with the timer on my iPhone and get even more steps back in the past. Now I really want to make use of my situation and dare to live in the past again. With a devil’s smile I grab my super old fashioned timer from the 70s that simply missed my attempts to throw it in the bin in the last decades and turn it clockwise, at least the upper half so the fifth dot is visible to show me it will ring after around 3 to 7 minutes – well, Alexa’s timer is a bit more accurate, I know. No voltage or current needed here, not to mention a proper Internet connection. Tea saved. Next. After a hard day, I jump onto the couch. Nothing beats some free time. „Alexa, play…“ oh, yes, I remember. So just let me start my Spotify app manually and play – nothing! All the songs are in the so-called cloud. I’m getting angry. Like a boy standing on the ground trying to touch the – clouds. Yes. Similar thing but with less music, if any. You think I just should use my cellphone’s Internet connection? As if I had never spent a thought on this. This idyllic place to live has its disadvantages. Hilly area in between a forest. And the cell towers are on the opposite side of the hills – of course! The cellphone users on the other side of the hills for sure have a reception that is double as good as usual. Alpha and Omega. I’m on the wrong side. Apropos, since I meditate once a day for quite a while I decide to have my daily dose of meditation right now to cool down a bit. Switched on the lights manually for the upper floor in the house (ha, works!) I arrive at my meditation room safe and sound. Great! I sit in the dark, whispering the words „Alexa, turn on lounge“ and await the smart aroma diffuser to give me some puffs of lavender odor as also to have the lights in a color that set the right mood. Instead, I again stare into the red ring of Alexa and hear her babble something as an excuse. I take a deep breath – this meditation session needs to last at least two hours to get me down. I’m sitting in the dark, realizing that this digital diet, as I will treat it from now on, is not even half as funny as a real one.