The invasion of the home gadgets

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The invasion of the home gadgets

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Safiya Amin

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You wake up one morning and find that your house is covered in toilet paper or that the package that was sitting outside your front door this morning disappeared a few hours later—but good thing you have your Ring doorbell, which has recorded footage of your doorstep.

Founded in 2012 by businessman Jamie Siminoff, the Ring doorbell has increasingly been the choice  doorbell for many households, and it’s no surprise why. Sleek and sophisticated, Ring has the ability to record the view from your home’s entrance, which means that you know what’s happening in front of your house 24/7.

With the introduction of Ring doorbells, burglary rates have gone down significantly in neighborhoods, according to the LAPD, which could make the doorbell even more attractive to homeowners.

And Ring doorbells aren’t the only home technology that are making an increasing appearance in households. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are becoming staples in many homes, with their ability to do anything from telling you the weather, to turning off the lights and turning down the heat with just your voice. Known as home assistants, Alexa and Google Home were released in 2015 and 2016 respectively and can be very useful when you have a lot going on and need another hand.

But is this type of sophisticated technology helpful, or is it invasive to homeowners?

Sure, you have a doorbell that is able to record who’s on the doorstep and one that can effectively tell you who TP’d your house; home assistants that can turn your lights off and turn down the heat when you don’t want to get out of bed—but when do these types of technology start to become too much?

Alexa and Google Home are activated by their wake word, but who’s to say that they aren’t listening to you when you aren’t talking to them, eavesdropping in the most private of places, your own home?

And with the ability to answer any question comes the lack of control over what kids are able to find out. A “does Santa Claus exist?” can prematurely ruin a childhood.

Ring doorbells have constant video feeds of the front doorstep of your house, which means that part of your own home is constantly on display—gone are the days of surprise visits and light-hearted pranks on your friends.

A Ring doorbell also has the ability to notify you whenever it detects movement, which means that every time the neighbor’s cat goes running past your door or that pesky squirrel is sitting on your porch—you’ll get a notification.

Home technology can seem useful and necessary, but is it really worth putting your whole life on display for?