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My sister thinks nothing of harboring a spy!

 

I recently found out my sister has a spy in her house. Oh, SHE doesn't think she is harboring a spy, but I do. She also thinks I am paranoid. Uh, huh. Anyone with an ounce of brains knows that our electronic devices track EVERYTHING about us – where we shop, how many Cheetos we eat at a sitting, what TV programs we watch, who we phone at 1:17 a.m. and, most probably, whether the toilet seat lid in our bathroom is up or down when not in use.

Yes, my intelligent, conservative sister has gone to the Dark Side; she has allowed Alexa into her home. "Jean, I just ask her the weather, or maybe to play a certain song on my play list." Uh, huh. For now. I warned her that I have friends who ask Alexa EVERYTHING! "Alexa, tell me a joke." "Alexa, how many o's are in a can of SpaghettiOs?" "Alexa, where did I leave my socks?" "Alexa, is my mother-in-law on her way over?"

"Alexa, do whales fart?" What's wrong with people? Can't they think for themselves? Entertain themselves? Do things for themselves? Turn their own lights on? Flush the toilet? Open the garage door? Look up the weather? Use the remote? My sister insists that she wasn't happy at first with her electronic squatter, given to her by her son, but after awhile, she enjoyed "talking" to Ms. Bot. After all, her husband had a hearing problem that he didn't want to hear about and her bestcompanion and communicator ever – her dog –- had unfortunately died. She told me that, frankly, she didn't care if Alexa was listening in on her private life, even her bedroom.

I gasped. That was more information than I, or even Alexa, cared to know.

I tried to convince her that spying has been going on for years, and that Alexa wasn't her bot buddy. I was creeped out when I first noticed that searches on my laptop resulted in a slew of ads pertaining to whatever I had just searched. One time I looked up nursing homes, not for me, but a friend. Within minutes, I had a list of 139 nursing homes ads to explore. I at least understood how my computer searches revealed my supposed interests, but when my smart TV started to show only senior-targeted ads ("Help, I've fallen and can't get up!"), I knew then and there my TV was bugged. "You can't tell me that that ad – or the one about funeral costs – ran in a millennial's household," I told my sister.

"Furthermore, my android knows when I have shopped at Walmart or stopped for Domino's Pizza, so my dear Big Sister, don't tell me Big Brother isn't watching!" My sister laughed . . . nervously.

So I wasn't surprised when my sister's voice dropped to a whisper when our phone conversation turned to politics. All of a sudden, she seemed worried that Alexa was eavesdropping. It didn't bother me. I ranted on and on about the buffoons in Congress, the fact that I can't buy a pillow without political fallout or express my opinion that a twit oversees Twitter. I knew my sister was cringing on the other end. I heard her say, "Alexa, you didn't hear that last conversation." Uh, huh.

"Way to go, Joyce" I exclaimed. "Why don't you just identify your little sister by name so Alexa can summon the FBI to my address?" We both laughed and went on to talk about lighter things than espionage.

My sister said she would eventually like to buy a robotic vacuum, but one that swept floors without getting stuck in a corner or bumping into every piece of furniture in the room. And I'm ok with that. As for me, I want one that doesn't find any "dirt" on ME. Just sayin'.

 

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