24 hours with Amazon Echo dot

This morning we had a fight. It went something like this:

Me: “What’s the time?”

Husband: “You have to ask Echo”

Me: “No I don’t! I don’t have to ask Echo every bloody thing!”


Since it’s arrival yesterday, this tiny black puck has moved from the kitchen, where it had been an entertaining novelty, to the front room, where it has been hooked up to the speakers, and taken a more permanent place in our home.

It has already:

  • scared me witless by piping up as I read a bedtime story to the toddler
  • tried to enforce its penchant for Ed Sheeran on the household,
  • elicited more than a handful of audible groans from Husband when he tries to use it to turn the lights off, and,
  • almost ordered 45 toilet roll after a prank by brother-in-law.

I’ve also learnt that I have significantly stronger feelings about this little thing than I thought I would:

  • When asked what the news is, it plays the same snippet from BBC radio that I’d heard moments before, because I have the actual radio on all the time. That’s irritating.
  • When asked to play music it always chooses Amazon Music first over Spotify. This means finding the right thing isn’t straightforward as Amazon has significantly less off the stuff I want to hear. I have to explicitly tell it to use Spotify. That’s annoying. Also, it wants to play me Ed Sheeran ALL THE TIME, that’s really annoying.
  • I have the Spotify app, wifi enabled stereo, digital radio AND Apple TV. If I want to play my favourite music it’s not hard, really.
  • I’ve already found transitioning from the use of lightswitches to the use of an app a total pain in the backside, even though I can do it without unlocking my phone, and my phone is literally* always in my hand. Why do I now need to learn a new habit and make the Echoslave do it for me? Ugh.
  • If I want to know the weather I can just look out the window or check my app, but in reality I never quite care enough.

It might still be the novelty factor but Husband directs all of his questions at Echo**.

The way you have to ask questions feels demanding, verging on rude, “Echo what’s the weather?” “Echo, play me anything other than Ed Sheeran” “ECHO, STOP!” While the toddler shouts “Nekko! Nekko!” indiscriminately. I’m wondering how this will play out over the next few weeks. I guess we’ll see…

*yes I mean literally.

** no, I’m not going to call it Alexa, read this piece by Johna Paolino on why.

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