We better get ready. The drones are coming. Sure, they’ve been in use by hobbyists, environmentalists, firefighters, photographers, security sources, and the military for a while, but it won’t be long before your orders from Amazon.com , Trader Joe’s, or AdamEve.com will come humming over rooftops to deliver the goods.
Sound kind of cool? I’m not so sure, not after listening to a recent broadcast of the Diane Rehm Show where panelists discussed the good, the bad, and the uncertainties of anticipated commercial use of drones. NBC News recently ran a segment titled “Could Drone Delivery Really Take Off? Experts Weigh In,” and earlier this year CBS News featured “Drones Over America.” These programs focused on the possible perks as well as the lack of proper regulations and certification of users to cover the vast array of drones flitting about…from those “the size of a hummingbird” to cargo type entities.
So once all the regulations and certifications are in place, what’s this all going to look like? What will it sound like? Think of it. In addition to Amazon, Walmart, and other large retailers readying their drone engines, we’ll be having everything from pizzas to pistols to prescriptions dropped at our doorsteps.
Just the visuals give me the creeps. All those things flying high and low…whizzing around trees and bushes, their cameras recording our every move…scaring birds away from my feeders…wreaking havoc on the beneficial insects and pollinators struggling against extinction. Joggers, cyclists, gardeners, and folks who walk to and from work, school, and the senior center might end up having to dodge any lost, malfunctioning, or just plain psychotic drones. Most can’t safely walk and talk on their cell phones, for Pete’s sake, let alone dodge drones. And c’mon. Do drivers need another distraction?
Then we’ll have the noise! All that humming, groaning, whizzing, clicking, ticking and whirling. Please. We deal with enough environmental noise already: sirens, barking dogs, car audio systems, road and building construction, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, line trimmers, chainsaws, children, teenagers, coughing elderly, busses, trucks, trains, aircraft, golf carts, and constant pings from our electronic gadgets. With drones cavorting around neighborhoods all the time, how are we going to catch our five minutes of quiet for daily meditation practice? How will the vibrations affect our REM sleep, for those lucky enough to get to that level?
For certain emergency, environmental, and military uses, okay. Drones can be efficient savers of time and person power. But if the use of drones becomes intrusive around this average citizen’s personal space, watch out. You know how so many people are pissed at police now? Just wait. The war on drones is inevitable. Slingshots…bb guns…AK47s…rolling pins. It doesn’t matter. Once the masses realize how intrusive the commercial use of drones has become, there will be a revolution to end their insidious presence.
Mark my word. At first having drones all over the place may seem like a fun futuristic fantasy come to life. But things can go wrong. Drones are machines. Machines break down…or go rogue…or crash into one another. Oh…the inhumanity of future deliveries by drones!
Please, retailers of the world, don’t go there. Drop the drone dream. Help us keep whatever shreds of quiet, clear skies and sanity we can hold on to as our world digitizes itself into oblivion.