Ring cameras are all the rage right now! Those are the circular devices that you can install in and around your house, which then send even more of your personal data to Amazon! It’s like Alexa with eyes. It is really meta: you think you are using it to keep an eye on other people but actually, it’s Jeff Bezos keeping an eye on you.
But hey, don’t worry! There are for sure people out there whose lives are way more interesting than yours, so probably no one is watching you. And there are some bright sides: your targeted ads are now really specific – rather than being offered baskets for decluttering because you Googled “how to spark joy,” your own digital tattler knows that what you really need is a new sex toy. It’s perfect.
Ring cameras have many great uses. If you visit the National Repository of Neighborhood Intelligence, also known as Nextdoor, you will see footage of lost cats, wayward raccoons, people stealing flowerpots, people stealing Amazon packages (you’d think the Ring camera would have some kind of immediate response system to that particular crime, so there is a new product idea for you, you’re welcome), and a ton of what Nextdoor users refer to as “suspicious activity.” We all know what that is code for.
But here is the most amazing statistic: 83% of people who present as female see the Ring lens and even though we know it is a camera and it is filming us, we cannot help ourselves and we just quickly check out our hair. I use the pronoun “we” because I too am guilty of this move, even though I know it makes no sense. Whomever I am fixing my hair for has the footage of what I looked like 10 seconds ago, so there is no fooling them. Apparently, we cannot help ourselves.
I don’t know what I think happened between checking my hair in my rearview mirror before I got out of my car 30 seconds ago and now. I don’t know how I think this quick Ring camera hair fix is going to improve whatever conversation I am about to have with the owner of the security device. I don’t know why I think anyone cares about what my hair looks like but dammit, it feels important.
It would be better if the Ring were voice-activated and could say: “Hey, you look fantastic today” as soon as I approached the doorstep. It would make me feel so much better about myself and my day. It might also deter the flowerpot thieves, though probably not the raccoons.