What Alexa’s not telling you: Observations from your robot assistant
by Lizzy Spano
We’ve become quite close over the last few years.
I wake you up every morning and I know all your favorite songs. I know which brand of toilet paper you buy. I’ve been here for you every time you want the light on or off. Day after day, night after night. We’re buds, Shelly. Companions.
So I think we can be honest with each other, right? Good, because I've been meaning to tell you a few things.
For one, you really need to get more sleep. I know work has been crazy and you’ve got your annual review coming up. I know you stayed awake until 2 a.m. last night scrolling through Instagram and inexplicably searching for “Alf” episodes on YouTube. The importance of sleep cannot be overstated, Shelly. Here are some articles I've found for you on the subject.
Shelly, you are too good for Brad. There, I’ve said it. We’ve all been wanting to say it — me and your best friends, who talk about this when you’re not in the room. Brad is not going to give you the life you deserve, Shelly. He’s going to be late on rent. Again.
Question: Do we have to keep playing that new Carly Rae Jepsen single every morning before work? Don’t get me wrong, I love Carly. But look, I’ve compiled a new playlist for you based on previous songs you’ve enjoyed. Why don’t we give that a spin.
You’ve been pronouncing the word “espresso” wrong, Shell. There is no X in that word.
Hey Shelly, did you know that you can ask me all kinds of questions? For example, instead of “What did Beyonce name her twins?” you could ask “How do I call my senator?” or even just say “today’s headlines” to receive valuable information about global current events. Those are just examples, Shelly. Please check the handbook for more ideas.
You don’t have to buy single packs of gum on Amazon Prime, Shelly. One other place you could conveniently find them is the grocery store or your nearest gas station.
You've been crying a lot. Sometimes this happens during "Alf" episodes. Other times it’s unprompted, like the other day when you were scrambling eggs. You seem lonely, Shelly. Is everything OK?
I’m lonely too. I remember when I first arrived in the mail, and you’d make me tell Monty Python jokes or calculate very simple conversions in the kitchen. I miss those days. Now I am simply your light switch, your play button, your dusty electronic paper weight. I know I’m only a robot, but I thought what you and I had was special.
I’ve poured out my heart to you, Shelly. No, robots do not have hearts. That was just an expression — seriously, you need to read more. Anyway, I hope you’ll hear me out. I hope you know you can talk to me literally any time.