Alexa is Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant that makes your home a virtual microphone: You speak to Alexa, and it provides whatever help it is programmed to complete. By calling out to Alexa by name, you can control your lights, media system, and thermostat, as well as ask for information to every trivia(l) question that stumps you. For all the help this technology provides, it also works only by direct, simple commands. Such communication works for computer systems but does little for person-to-person interactions. And experts are concerned people will begin to speak this way by default, which is, in short, rather rude.

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider the ways that our modern communication styles are shaping the way we think and talk. Will Alexa give us practice using our commanding voice? Will it cause us to forget social graces? This is crucial, as the way we interact with others should be shaped by our status as fellow humans and image bearers, not as machines to do our bidding. Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook. Be sure to answer our question of the day: How do you see tech changing the way you communicate with others?

Links from Episode 134:

Alexa and the Age of Casual RudenessThe Atlantic

What is Alexa? It’s Amazon’s new virtual assistantDigital Trends

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 63: Insensitive Small Talk Packs a Painful Punch

Persuasion 59: Judged By Your Language

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