Technology Love

November 28, 2016

My Frusband has named his Sat Nav after me. I wondered if it’s because they always have those smooth, sexy voices but it turns out that’s not the reason.

Frusband: “She’s called Alex because she bosses me around, never stops talking and is often wrong. AND I can yell at her ‘Shut up Alex for God’s sake!’ without fear of recrimination.” Fair enough. Many men are turning to technology to warm their lonely nights. New research is telling us that increasingly, men are turning to Siri for love and some sexy/dirty chat.

An Israeli company that created a virtual assistant for traffic monitoring and directions noticed that a large proportion of the conversations that users were having with their VA was, ahhhh – how can I put this? FILTHY – absolutely disgusting sexually explicit in nature. And we are talking about large volumes too – there were blokes who would talk to “Robin” 300 times A DAY.

The thinking around it is it’s highly likely to be bored, frisky teenagers and lonely truck drivers who don’t have girlfriends. But given how much of problem isolation is becoming (even in cities and large towns) due to an overreliance on technology rather than face to face interaction with other people, I suspect we are only going to see more of this kind of thing, not less.

But when you think about it’s probably not that different from calling a phone sex line or going to a prostitute. I’ve told you before about my stint in the brothel. Many of the clients were really only after one thing, intimacy. Sex, yes (obviously), but a lot of these men and women, wanted affectionate human contact. And they were happy to pay for it.

The late Princess Diana was big on that. She often spoke of the power of human touch and how giving an orphaned child or an HIV patient a hug could bring them such happiness. So if we know that more and more people feel isolated and lonely, it’s probably not that much of surprise people are turning to technology. And they are spoiled for choice too! In the last few years technology capable of talking back has gone through the roof. Just through apps and Facebook Messenger there are over 11,000 chat bots available to chat.

Forming an attachment to technology is nothing new. I went to the drive-in back in 1984 and saw Electric Dreams – the story of a love triangle between a guy, girl and computer. Don’t tell me there wasn’t something funky going on between KITT and David Hasselhoff, depending on the kind of relationships you’re into, you could also argue there was definitely something happening between the HAL 9000 and Dr Dave Bowman, ditto Dr Smith and the robot from Lost In Space and just a few years ago there was the movie Her, featuring Joaquin Phoenix falling love with his computer. It was surprisingly easy to come up with examples!

There’s a man in the US who is currently suing for the right to marry his laptop. Part of his argument is that a woman was allowed MARRY A DOLPHIN. That did actually happen in 2006 British citizen Sharon Tendler married Cindy the dolphin in the southern Israeli port of Eilat. She said at the time she still kept open the option of “marrying human” at some stage, for now she was strictly a “one-dolphin woman”. Bet that made men all over breathe a big sigh of relief. Anywho, this bloke from the US has a history of filing wacky law suits and says he’ll take his case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Even I know how that feels. The very first column I ever wrote for SheBrisbane was about falling in love with my (then new) Dyson vacuum cleaner D’Artagnan. I’m happy to report we’re still going strong – it’s one of the best relationships I’ve had to be honest so let’s not judge People, let’s embrace the future.

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Alexandria Bernard
With a successful 20+ year career in media and communications, Alex’s media portfolio includes contracts as a radio and television presenter (612 ABC, 4BC, Channel 9 and Network Ten) and as a feature writer for bmag and Brisbane Times.

Alex's voice and face may be familiar to you from her voiceover and television commercial work. She has been featured in national radio and TV advertising campaigns, corporate videos and has been a regular MC for major events.