My Problem With My Echo

I received an Amazon Echo as a gift from one of my kids a couple of years ago. I stared at it blankly and my son said “You don’t know what it is.” He was right. I had no clue what it was but I thought it was really cool looking.

Now I’m an Echo whiz kid, but one thing drives me crazy.

You can be rude with the Amazon Echo and it’s perfectly fine. It will be rude right back at you.

me: Alexa, please play Rolling in the Deep by Adele.  

Echo: Playing Rolling in the Deep by Adele.

me: Thank you.


I refused to stop saying please and thank you for a long time, even though being polite wasn’t programmed into the Echo. I’ve pretty much given it up now, but saying please and thank you is programmed into me. I learned social politeness as a child, by my parents, my church and my school.

Now I’m a high school teacher. Some kids are totally polite and it’s lovely. Others are either outright rude or just don’t say please and thank you. Do we blame social media? Do we blame parents or schools?

I blame the Amazon Echo.

And don’t get me started about what the Echo says when I’m talking with my friend-in-real-life Alexa.

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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22 Responses to My Problem With My Echo

  1. Ritu says:

    Oh too funny! I am also a please and thank you kinda gal, Alexa or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It would be pretty awesome if it would refuse to do anything unless asked politely. It could revolutionize society.

    If I had one of those, I would want it to have the voice of Stephen Fry in character as Jeeves from “Jeeves and Wooster”–all “very good, sir,” and “just as you say, sir.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    We were given an Echo as a gift. I never set it up. I feel like enough of my personal info is out there already. Now you’ve given me another reason not to use it: the thing’s just plain rude! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      lol I don’t use it to the extent many people do. We are renters, so don’t have the type of thermostat that you can set on a timer with Echo and have the heat/air automatically turn on at a certain time (I wish I had that). I listen to the news, weather, politics and ALL of my music on the echo. My grandsons love the jokes. I do some other stuff but that’s the main things I use it for. Oh and audible. I prefer to listen to books “on tape” as I still call them even though tape went by the wayside years ago. But I prefer to listen in the car.


  4. Paul says:

    Ha! Well, your Echo definitely didn’t grow up in Canada that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barb, I hate to say this (and now everyone else will hate me for saying it too), but maybe Alexa is not the droid you’re looking for. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Almost Iowa says:

    Alexa sounds nice. I play nice with any object that plays nice with me. Aluminum track storm windows, I swear at.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Coleman says:

    Sadly, I wouldn’t have understood what an Echo was either. I’m just beginning to grasp siri, or whatever her name is. Whenever she shows up on my phone, I turn her right back off. The voice is too annoying and borderline creepy! But I do like your idea of trying to make her polite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Yes the Alexa voice is slightly less 2001 Space Odyssey than Siri. I find Siri SO annoying and have used it let’s see……zero times. My husband has a new GPS app on his phone which is supposed to be really good. I have the one that comes with the iPhone and I think is infinitely better than Google Maps. I forget the name of his. But “her” voice is ultra-annoying. Why don’t they have male voices ever? Or a choice? How funny would it be if it were the voice of a 4-year-old giving directions!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman says:

        I love that idea! A four-year old’s voice would be perfect. And if they can’t do that, then I want a man’s voice with a British accent who only refers to me as “darling.”


  8. Oh the nerve of Echo…how dare she/he! 😜

    But…are you secretly liking it now? 😝

    On a more serious note, it really does make me wonder the future society we are breeding…😔 Sigh..

    Liked by 1 person

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