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Speaking Alexa in the Dark

Yesterday, after coming home from work, I got a rare treat — no power. It was a chance for some quieter time in the home with the family… albeit for one hour.

I tried something weird… I checked if my Echo would respond. I knew consciously that it wouldn’t but I wanted to see how it’d feel speaking it aloud and then being very cognizant of my reaction. What’s interesting is that I had a visceral reaction expecting a response. The room lightened — a sign of my pupils quickly dilating — and I could feel attention move to my ears.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why false rejection is so annoying. Once we’re conditioned to expect a response, we end up with a cognitive dissonance when one isn’t received. I’m curious how this might apply to other interactions and errors we find annoying.

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