Technology is a Church

A few weeks ago, I posted an unboxing video of the “free” Google Home sent to us by Rogers, our internet service provider.

Now, I’m not stupid. I knew this was “free” like the Krispy Kreme donut samples are “free” at Costco. Little did I know it was actually more akin to allowing Krispy Kreme to set up a store in your living room.

I love this thing. The voice recognition technology of Google Assistant makes Siri on my iPhone seem laughable. The number of things I can already do just by speaking into the air instead of thumbing, head tunneled into the screen, is growing by the day. It also results in some great conversations with my family. If it’s true that one of the best ways adults can lead by example in a tech-immersed world is to let our children know what we’re actually doing when our attention is dictated by our devices, then literally speaking out loud about it at home is a great way to start.

We are also listening to so much more music together as a family. Albeit, this has caused a side effect of me wishing very bad things would happen to Ed Sheeran (c’mon, you just shouldn’t be allowed to make music that catchy and sappy!) Nevertheless, I’ll always take more music over less music.

And I will admit that I’m willing to trade my data for the services Google provides. I don’t feel 100% confident about this, and I reserve the right to change my mind, but right now I’m living with this cognitive dissonance. And there’s another first world problem.

We’re an Apple family.

The only cellphone any of us have ever owned is the ubiquitous iPhone. Imagining using a laptop that doesn’t have a glowing apple on the outside is unthinkable within our home’s walls. We have likely spent well over five figures in hardware, apps, media content from and through the company. And who knew that the hardest thing to leave would be iMessage! We thought it was just text messaging. We didn’t know it was your social life!

We’re deeply invested. But I’m having a crisis of tech faith. I want to talk to my phone more and crane my neck towards it less. In a family, however, tech use is far more efficient when everyone’s using the same ecosystem. What’s a lucky family to do? I’ll keep you up to date.

Originally published at royan lee.