“Make it so.”

The dramatic flair of issuing a command this way cannot be argued, but the overall utility of this being the prime way to control something never seems to be criticized. Moving away from an abstract panel with buttons or keys to using the sole power of our voice often seems to be idolized in sci-fi utopias. Why use a keyboard to type words when you can just say them, right? Sounds awesome. The first few times. Maybe now you’re in an environment where you don’t want people knowing what you’re doing, or you’re hoarse, or it’s too loud. All of that on top of a basic introverted judgement anxiety can actually make this “superior” input mechanism seem downright overwhelming.

On Star Trek, when someone wants to speak to someone who is remote, they use a communicator. Tap your chest, start speaking. It’s like a world where the phone is king, and not text, which has actually supplanted the phone as the hip way to send a message to someone nowadays. It’s fine if you’re an extrovert and don’t care that everyone knows who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about at any time, but for those of us that react negatively to that, it’s kind of frightening. I’m jealous of those today who can just pick up a phone and call someone and start talking about anything with others within earshot. Unless I’m around people I know and feel comfortable with, this activity brings fear and anxiety instead, and is avoided whenever possible.

Expanding on my Kinect story from yesterday, being able to control your Xbox 360 with voice commands is cool. It feels like the future, only now. Once you get past the novelty of that working (and it’s not even perfectly accurate yet), though, to me it can just seem gimmicky. What if it’s late at night and I don’t want to wake others by barking orders at it? What if multiple people are in the room and both end up “battling” it out with their voices? Basically, to a largely significant extent, I don’t need voice commands, and to a lesser significant extent, I’m not sure I even want them.

For now, I’m glad I didn’t need to dictate this post to my computer, and could instead use anonymous keystrokes, saving everyone around me the pain of having to hear my curmudgeonly thoughts.