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Say thank you and please: Should you be polite with Alexa and the Google Assistant?

October 15, 2019

Is digital etiquette necessary? Dr. Laura Phillips, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute, says the answers are “complicated and really nuanced.”

“When you’re talking to very young infants who don’t understand it’s a machine and we want them to hear kind engagement with other people, it stands to reason that we should be using manners,” says Phillips. “When kids are older and understand that Alexa isn’t a person, we don’t want them to use those words in an automatic way. And that we say ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘please’ because there’s a relational piece to our communication and our words impact other people.”