As the world reels in the face of another computer hacking attack, this time at the hands of the “wannacry” virus, I have come to realize that my refrigerator is dumb — and I really prefer it that way.
It sounds mean to say that my refrigerator is not “smart,” but it’s true. It’s shiny on the outside but not very bright, if you know what I mean. It keeps our food cool, or downright frozen, and it gives us ice and cold water at the thrust of a cup, but that’s about it. It’s not linked to the internet or controlled by an app. It’s not programmable and tracking data about electrical usage that I can access when I’m drinking coffee at the office. It doesn’t stream music or take verbal commands or have an inside/outside video camera or suggest recipes when we’re trying to decide what to have for dinner.
It’s embarrassing to say it, I guess, but our other key appliances — the stove, the oven, the microwave, and the washer and dryer — are pretty much equally dumb. It’s not their fault, it’s just the way they were made. In fact, they probably even lack the self-awareness to recognize that they are . . . different from their more gifted cousins.
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure that we have any really smart devices around the house. Our seven-year-old car has satellite radio and a GPS system, but that’s about it in the high-tech department. These days, that’s kindergarten stuff. Our TV allows us to access various content providers, so it’s probably at about the third-grade level. And our 10-year-old desktop computer is so laughably backward that it might as well be sitting on a stool in the corner with a dunce cap on.
So in our household, we’re surrounded by dumbness. But with each new hacking attack, I’m thinking that’s really not such a bad thing. While our refrigerator might not get great test results in the smart appliance department, at least we know it’s not spying on us, or accumulating personal information that some hacker could access, or subject to being controlled by the next round of North Korean mischief. When the next “wannacry” or “stuxnet” or “bindlehoffer” virus is sweeping the globe and paralyzing smart households, it’s reassuring to know that our refrigerator will still be purring along, keeping the cottage cheese and beer cold.