Children might be some of the cruelest beings in the world especially if they aren’t taught well enough. School time can become pretty difficult to pass through if you’ve got bullies in your class. Back in my days, kids used to make fun of your appearance or your name if it sounded funny enough but this kid had a first-world problem apparently. Her name was Alexa and the other kids just couldn’t stop it with the jokes.
You might know Alexa as Amazon’s virtual assistant. It is a big hit in the US and Europe so a lot of households have Amazon devices that respond to Alexa. Remember the meme? Alexa, play Despacito. But it looks like naming your kid Alexa might put them in hot water at school now. Since kids today don’t really know life without virtual assistants, they can be pretty cruel with their jokes. So much so that some parents had to change their child’s name.
Many parents have called on Amazon to change the default activation word for their devices to a more non-human name. Though it might not help now, it may help the coming generation who won’t know about Alexa. Amazon responded to all the parent’s complaints saying that they were saddened by these events.
One teenage girl named Alexa had it pretty rough. Children and even teachers started making fun of her based on her name as soon as she started attending secondary school. According to her mother “She started to not want to introduce herself because of the jokes and the backlash. She was and still is a child, yet adults thought it was OK to make a joke of her. It’s devastating. The school was unhelpful and told her she needed to build resilience.”.
The events took such a toll on the kid’s mental health that her parents had to change her name and pray that she gets a good fresh start. According to the parents “She’s in a much better place now. We have cut off friends and moved her to a new school to allow a fresh start. The injustice will never leave her or us. Amazon must change the default wake word on its devices. There was clearly not enough ethical research into using Alexa”.
You can’t really blame Amazon for what children do. Making fun of someone just isn’t right and it doesn’t really represent a flaw in the naming of the product but it shows a flaw in the upbringing of the people who made fun of the girl. According to BBC, there are more than 4,000 people called Alexa under 25 in the UK right now and most of them have shared similar stories.
Another mother complained that her daughter Alexa was only six and is already being made fun of. She said that “It started in Reception. Older children would say things like ‘Alexa, play disco’. Other boys picked up on it and shouted commands at her”. She further explained that “We were at the park the other day and every single boy there was saying it to her constantly. She’s started clamming up. I think it’s affecting her confidence. Adults make fun of her too”.