Age of electronics

Nate embraces the conveniences of modern electronic devices. We’ll skip over the steps he saves with the remote controls on his TV and garage door. They are so 20th century. As are his cordless electric lawn mower, weed eater and blower. He prefers to avoid dragging wires.
Let’s begin with his cell phone – a misnomer if there ever was one. He uses his phone more as a handheld computer than a phone. He uses it to research facts, find and play his favorite tunes, take pictures, tell him where to go and where his children have gone.
If a visitor rings his doorbell, his electronic camera allows him to preview callers and assess his response before opening the door. If he is out of town, he can see unexpected visitors.
He proudly demonstrates the presence of Alexa in every nook and cranny of his house. He uses this voice-activated computer assistant with Internet access to simplify his life and keep the family on track. Waiting on a kid to show up for breakfast he commanded, ”Hey, Alexa, check in the kids’ bathroom.” Obediently the electronic butler opened a port, and the noise of running water emitted from the speaker in that bathroom’s sound machine. No response if there was a child in there.
In the living room, Alexa obeys when he says, “Alexa, turn on the living room lights to fifty percent. Alexa, blue lights, red lights,” and “Alexa, lights off.” No inconvenient stumbling through darkness to the light switch.
For those who find the machine’s ubiquitous presence disturbing, only unplugging the machine guarantees privacy. Not a concern in Nate’s world. He recently acquired a computerized toothbrush that tracks his brushing. After rinsing, he taps his phone and watches a rotating picture of teeth with highlights of any teeth he insufficiently brushed.
The toothbrush came from the pharmaceutical company for which he works. The company encourages employees to make healthy choices. In the past, management provided him with a Fitbit to count his steps and electronic scales to track his weight. He doesn’t have to do it. However, if he does, he electronically collects points for cash.
Electronics dominate his morning rush. Want toast? Say, “Alexa, make toast” to connect the electricity to the toaster. As the toaster glows and the coffee percolates, a soothing, electronic voice announces “Today’s news brief and headlines.” After verbally perusing the paper, it finishes with a brief devotional thought.
At precisely 8 o’clock Alexa reminds him, “Time to take your medicine” and nags him until he does.
Electronics accompany Nate on the road. For hands free driving, his SUV receives messages ending with, “Do you want to respond?”
His route is computed, tracked and can provide directions back to the original location. It is a conscientious SUV. If Nate starts to change lanes, electronic sensors feel around for any vehicle in his blind spot. If it finds one, the vehicle sharply toots to warn him against a potential accident.
This helpful SUV has a TV screen for backing up that digitally generates lines to show him a safe back up path. There’s more! If he backs up too far, the van senses a curb and brakes for him.
The SUV is very protective, but Nate rarely uses it to drive to work. As a consulting pharmacist, he works from home, sitting in front of a computer all day talking with folks about their prescriptions. He never goes to the office. Thanks to COVID-19, he now works from home. Thanks to the age of electronics, his supervisor can track his progress, work output and hours. Nate no longer needs even business casual clothes. That suits him just fine. He enjoys his modern castle surrounded by all its electronic bells and whistles. `