2011 brought with it a lot of great technology. The iPad invaded our living rooms as a turbo-charged remote control, components for the A/V rack started streaming in all kinds of cool services (ditto for the TV) a plethora of new apps made it easier to connect and communicate with our beloved devices. Still, there were a few technologies that really got under my skin this year—things that didn’t work, things that didn’t deliver what I thought they should, and things that worked but changed my life is ways I didn’t really like. So, here are a few of my most despised technologies of the year.
The authoritative voice on my car’s GPS unit sounds like a real know-it-all, which in and of itself irritates me. But what’s worse is her poor sense of direction. Sure, she’s guided me to obscure addresses lots of times, but she’s certainly led me astray on more than one occasion, and it’s these instances that make me want to chuck her out the window and pull out my old-fashioned map.
At this point, most incoming and outgoing calls go through my family’s collection of cell phones. Still, there are occasions—like when cell service is bad (happens a lot in our house) when I’ll pick up a land-line phone to make a call. Holding a handset just feels good sometimes. The problem: nobody (myself included) ever returns the phone to its charging station when they’re finished. Consequently, our cordless phones are almost always dead. I’m not sure longer battery life is even the answer.
My refrigerator beeps incessantly if you leave the door open, but when the water line cracked? Not a peep! I have warped hardwood floors to show for it. I know, I know, there I could always buy a water sensor and tuck it underneath the fridge, but if this big white box can make ice, keep one drawer cooler than the other and beep when the door’s ajar, I certainly think it should be smart enough to know when it’s dumping water.
Auto Text Correct
Idk, syl, cul8r … its acronym speak, and as an avid texter, I use this new language a lot. So, who really needs or wants the auto correct feature on their smart phones? It’s irritating and completely unnecessary. Yes, I meant to say that.
I love the idea of speaking into my phone to find out where the nearest Mexican restaurant is, but it’s never, ever quiet enough in my house, my car … really anywhere so that Siri can hear me clearly. Most times, it’s quicker to pull out the phone book. Sorry, Siri.
I’ve given up. None of them will stay in or on my ears.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.