Not an April Fools joke. Amazon released the Amazon Dash Button on March 31st and of course we thought it was a joke. In reality Amazon Dash is another way your home can become more connected. Is this brilliant or depressing?
Ian Crouch expertly lays it out that the video has this depressing thought of this rather robotic future.
And the idea of shopping buttons placed just within our reach conjures an uneasy image of our homes as giant Skinner boxes, and of us as rats pressing pleasure levers until we pass out from exhaustion.
He elaborates by proposing the idea of shopping as a pause in our wasteful habits. That shopping may actually help us think about our consumption. On the flip side, apparently Amazon is already in talks with companies to make this a purely automated system in which buttons never have to be pressed!
So now I wonder – what is the line between making a Jetsons’ home and having to “labor” to consume. Are there ethical and social issues to moving in this direction. As we learn to adapt to communication through social media channels, we have connected with other humans through an non-human device. Does the Internet of Things provide us with more time to connect with the non-internet things we love? Family, animals, the outdoors, or does it merely contribute to blind, thoughtless consumption and more time with our objects that don’t talk back? Well, I guess they do talk back now.