Tech talk and Siri

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I would like to thank modern technology for that awkward moment when I was conducting very important business and Brick House piped out of my purse, courtesy of Siri, the voice activated assistant firing up the music on my iPhone without permission.

The next song on my playlist was She’s so Mean which, considering my mood some days, makes a lot more sense.

iPhone fail

Siri is the automated “assistant” who as near as I can tell works for everyone who is not me. Siri is not to be trusted. At all. The television commercials would have us believe that Siri is just nattering on telling jokes, scheduling appointments, ordering soup and telling us where our friends are physically located at a moment’s notice. In my hands Siri is rendered deaf and dumb — or she thinks I am. The jury is still out on that one.

Example: every time I ask her to dial our local deli, Dutch Cupboard, so I can order some lunch meat, she responds that she cannot find a listing for Dutch Hovered. I grow annoyed and say clearly and succinctly “Dutch. Cupboard.” Siri responds: “I cannot find “Ducks Covered.”

Eventually I just drive to the store and order my lunch meat over the counter the way nature intended.

Chicken

I’m still not sure what I asked the night she responded “I can search the Web for ‘Like Floreis Synchronizer Chicken Out’ if you’d like.” I passed on that and have felt I missed out on something ever since. What if I am the only person not floreis synchronizing her chicken?

I can make fun of Siri until the cows come home (or the cow app drains my battery, which will surely come sooner). Just this summer it was discovered an ad campaign depicted Siri incorrectly identifying poison oak when queried by a confused camper. Accident or set-up? Let’s just hope she has a better track record when asked to source calamine lotion.

Problem

Like any addict, the first step is admitting you have a problem, and I don’t think I have a problem. Despite my testy relationship with Siri it is safe to say I love my smart phone too much. Sure, my hand is permanently curled in “phone hold” position but that’s just a normal part of the evolutionary process right?

I need my banking, reminders, shopping lists, Amazon, eBay and Facebook with me at ALL times. What if I need to bid on something at 12:02 p.m. and I can’t? Where would the world be then? Once every great while the phone rings and scares me. I forget these things make calls.

With the debut of the iPhone 5 my short-lived reign as a person who was up-to-date has come to an end. With the debut of the new iPhone the old iPhone is instantly rendered obsolete, or so they tell me.

Frankly I’m a late adapter and hold on to things for far longer than ever makes sense. They’ll be on iPhone 10 and I’ll still be rocking my iPhone 4S and trying to fathom why Siri sounds so old.

Despite the random acts of disco, Dutch hovering and synchronized chicken, I love my smartphone even if I disdain the not-so-smart digital assistant. These days I just ignore that feature. When friends ask me if they should purchase the Siri version of the smartphone or go for the cheaper, Siri-free alternative, I always push them toward the cheaper option. (I am, after all, cheap).

The truth is all Siri ever says to me is “I didn’t get that Kymberly” in a completely condescending, and frankly snotty, tone. I don’t use her anymore because I have enough people in my life who pretend not to understand me the first time, thank you very much.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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