I’ll admit it. When my desperately-needed new phone came with Siri, I didn’t see the point. It was fun to listen to her pronounce words “properly” that this city mangles to death. The parlor tricks were nice and discovering all those Easter Egg responses was fun. But on first blush, there didn’t seem to be anything particularly “essential” about her. To me, she was a lazy man’s solution. It’s not that hard to do things manually. Learn to type. Learn how to use the map. Her power was limited to a few Apple-specific apps, but I could see that in time, her influence would grow. Voice commanded software, while essential for some, was a perk for the rest that put Siri on my list of “Things Wrong With This World” and “How Technology Is Destroying Us.”
And then I found myself using her. To set a timer for my daughter to help her transition from one activity to the next. To tell my husband I was “On my way” quickly so I didn’t have to wait until I was out of the basement garage and half way there for him to receive the message. To get directions with a single verbal request instead of plucking away at the interface. Even to make to-do lists while i’m driving (don’t judge me until you try it).
And like any good addiction, i began to resent her hold on me without being able to let go of her. She fails me. Not all the time, just enough to frustrate me. Sometimes it’s connection issues, sometimes it’s translation issues, and sometimes she just can’t do what I’m asking because I haven’t asked in the right way. What’s most worrisome about this behavior is how much it upsets me. How can she very easily understand who I mean when I ask her to call my friend with a consonant-heavy last name that I’ve never been able to properly pronounce, but struggle to respond to a simple request like “where is the nearest Wendy’s?.” Two months ago, I didn’t see the point of her and suddenly having to manually set a timer seems archaic and why is she doing this to me?
Slowly but surely, Siri has wound her way into my life and I’m completely irrational about her shortcomings. Help?