My Toaster Doesn’t Need to Be Smart
These days, it seems like every appliance, electrical gadget, and even your car has to be connected to the internet to perform its job. While it may be nice to have a car that can monitor the efficiency of its engine remotely, it’s not really necessary. If it was, you’d probably be wise to avoid that car, as even the manufacturer doesn’t trust it to run well without constantly keeping an eye on it.
But when your kitchen is taken over by a smart refrigerator, smart stove, smart coffee maker, and smart toaster, you have to start wondering how you ever managed to feed yourself before the internet became a thing, and how vital being connected is to the operation of these appliances.
Look at the functions of all these smart appliances. You’ll likely find that the extent of their internet functionality is simply for the manufacturer to monitor the functions and ensure they’re running as designed. By monitoring their functions, they provide the manufacturer with data on your daily habits, data that is worth money and can be sold to other manufacturers.
Modern life is a daily struggle to protect our privacy and maintain some control over our lives in the face of this constant connectivity. I don’t need the manufacturers of my appliances getting rich off of knowing what kind of ice cream I like.
I can possibly forgive my car for prying into my life. After all, it’s just trying to keep me safe on the roads. But it’s annoying to be reminded to buy more bread from my toaster or be told by my refrigerator to pick up more beer the next time I’m out. I wish they’d all just mind their own business.