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Alexa is the best frenemy I’ve ever had

Illustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

Before I received my first Alexa-enabled smart display as a Christmas gift in 2019, I was not a big fan. I just didn’t feel like I could trust an Amazon device with a camera inside of it. I’d heard about all the privacy concerns, and I was determined to avoid it like the plague.

But then a plague really did happen — and right when my mom got sick. And then, suddenly, this device I was once suspicious of became a vital part of our support system. Those people Amazon always claim love Alexa? I somehow suddenly found myself becoming one of them.

To be clear, Mom had been sick for years. Mom has Parkinson’s disease, an incurable neurological disorder that affects everything from mobility to memory. At first, she suffered from a few tremors…

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