Service of I’m Not Weeping: Feeble Crises Due To Tech Blip

December 9th, 2021

Categories: Apps, Catalogs, Cloud, Marketing, Technology


Image by Ashish Bogawat from Pixabay 

I couldn’t tell if Sarah E. Needleman was being sarcastic when she chose the examples for her article “Amazon Outage Disrupts Lives, Surprising People About Their Cloud Dependency,” in the Wall Street Journal.

Disrupts lives? She reported that as a result there was one couple who had to manually feed their cats “like in ancient times,” the husband said, because their automatic cat feeder didn’t work.  A man complained that he had to use a broom and dustpan to clean up crumbs from the muffin he dropped on the kitchen floor because his Roomaba robot vacuum was disabled. Another felt lonely because he couldn’t ask Alexa for news updates or the weather. Alexa’s disconnect disrupted a woman’s day because she couldn’t ask it to turn on and off her lights. In addition, as the outage impacted Zappos, she couldn’t track a package.

Note: None of these people were disabled and dependent on technology to literally work for them. So I am not weeping.

About the December 7 cloud interruption Needleman wrote that “Amazon Web Services is the largest cloud-computing service provider in the U.S. The outage of much of its network lasted most of the day and disrupted several of the tech giant’s services, as well as many of its corporate customers’ websites and apps.

“It affected the company’s videoconferencing tool Chime and its home-security system Ring, plus many third-party applications that sit on top of Amazon’s cloud, including Ticketmaster and streaming services from Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc.

Echo smart home box
Image by hamburgfinn from Pixabay  

“For many consumers, it was an awakening to how many internet-enabled devices they now have in their homes and how much even some of their most basic daily needs depend on a connection to the cloud.”

Basic daily needs? What happened to food and shelter?

My health insurance company tried to get me to download an invoice when in the past they’ve mailed one with months worth of coupons. I was burned by linking to a fake document so instead I called to confirm what I thought was in the document.

This insurance is solely for the old and the ancient. I wonder if I’m alone in requesting paper for what doesn’t fit in an email. I’m not a total luddite: I’m happy to access my bank accounts online but I’m the one seeking the information and inserting my user names and passwords.

As technology surges on, I’ve noticed a vigorous trend for old fashioned marketing at the same time. This is the first year in ages I’ve been inundated by catalogs. I photographed the ones that came in just the last few weeks–photo below. I haven’t ordered from a catalog in a dog’s age. Can’t figure out the timing of this approach.

Are you addicted to your cloud and app-connected devices? If the reporter is serious and the lives of the owners of these devices are “disrupted” when they don’t work, impacting their “basic daily needs,” what does this say about the direction of our society? Should one company have so much “power” over people’s lives?

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4 Responses to “Service of I’m Not Weeping: Feeble Crises Due To Tech Blip”

  1. Kathleen Said:

    Experienced something shopping on line. I was looking for a child’s jigsaw puzzle just after Thanksgiving and found Ravensburger (sp?) offerings, which we’ve bought years ago. I was ready to order a puzzle and the company said only choices are available at retail. Only you can buy at a store to help the retailers. I’ve not seen this. Anybody else find similar?

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Kathleen,

    I’ve not seen this but it makes sense if a manufacturer or importer makes most of its money through its retail partners it would want to support, not undercut, them.

  3. lucrezia Said:

    This makes sense if one is to believe a theory that humans will eventually lose the use of arms and legs since all associated tasks will no longer be necessary, and given thousands of years, humanity will evolve into round balls. It appears as if there may be some truth to this if such dependence on technology increases.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Without arms we can’t hug. Unfortunately what you write makes sense in a use it or lose it kind of way.

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