I have no real interest in bringing Alexa into my home at all, but there are apparently people who have not only welcomed the Amazon smart speaker inside their humble abodes but have also taken the relationship to a more intimate level.
A new study commissioned by WeVibe found loneliness and anxiety during the virus-induced lockdowns has likely resulted in the emergence of “technosexuals.” WeVibe surveyed 1,000 men and discovered 14% of respondents confessed their Amazon smart speaker aroused them.
That’s actually about half of the number who admitted to “having the hots for the online bazaar’s voice-recognition software” in survey results released in July. All this time being cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic certainly has people looking for love in all kinds of new places.
Is this what people meant when they kept talking about “the new normal?” I certainly didn’t see the rise of technosexuals coming, but who am I to question anyone’s quest for companionship?
I can’t help but wonder if the people who’ve admitted to having intimate relations with their Alexa devices at home are secretly hoping their companies will incorporate the smart speakers in their offices when they return so they never have to be without their electronic mates.
Then again, that could certainly make for an awkward situation in the corporate board room if things are getting particularly hot and heavy between Alexa and her human suitor. I’m guessing an AV integrator can probably program Alexa behind the scenes to not respond to romantic advances in the workplace.
And it makes you wonder whether Amazon Echos in hotel rooms across the U.S. and around the world are finding themselves getting closer than ever to the guests who share their rooms for a few nights.
The Emergence of Technosexuals
There’s a cliché out there that says there’s someone out there for everyone, but whoever first said that likely never anticipated the “someone” would actually be a “something.” I, for one, don’t understand the appeal of a know-it-all mate, although I’ve heard Alexa does come with a particularly sharp wit.
I’m sure there are people who’ve found love in the arms of a virtual reality partner they’ve met while wearing an Oculus headset too and we’ll continue to hear stories about humans and their devices finding everlasting happiness—until the batteries run out or start to take longer to charge, that is.
That must be an awkward conversation, when you have to tell your Alexa you’re trading her in for a newer model with more functionality and memory. How do you break up with a smart speaker and will that speaker put out the word to your other devices about your lack of loyalty?
Surely, there are many more questions than answers here but this is a real thing that real people are doing with the technology you install every day.
I guess it’s better than some of the other things they do with it that causes it to break and good that they REALLY like their technology, but it seems a bit extreme.