My Complicated Relationship with Siri


BY STACEY HATTON
The Kansas City Star
Columnist
January 20, 2018

Siri hates me. You know her, that sickening sweet voice inside your cell phone. I don’t know what I did to her, but my inanimate virtual assistant is evil and must be stopped!

How could she have it in for me? According to Apple, Siri is “intelligent and helpful,” but between you and me, she’s not that bright. I thought at first she was the answerer to my prayers and commands, so obviously she should have a British accent. The American English one was too bland and the Australian accent made me crave shrimp.

If someone is going to be smarter than me and be available 24/7, she should be practically perfect in every way — a veritable Mary Poppins.

Recently, I’ve concluded my Siri has a serious hearing impairment. She rarely hears my questions correctly. If she’s going to all the trouble to pull up oodles of websites or links for me, don’t you think it wise to be accurate?

I know she’s able to understand my accent. I’m from the Midwest and majored in theater. I can spit out my words better than most cowhands.

It’s gotten so bad I’ve stopped using Siri’s supposed help at home. I refuse to set up her system preferences again, unless I get a new phone or mom van. It would be dangerous not to. Let’s say I’m driving down a scary street at night and need to find the nearest police station because someone is following me (it could happen), there’s a good chance I’ll require her annoying voice of treason.

Siri messes with me in the car too.

The difference between home and car is I still have hope for the car. It’s a genius idea to be able to drive down the road and ask, “Hey, Siri … I need the closest gas station.” But instead, my electronic smarty britches will link to several locations where I can pick up some Gas-X or Beano I didn’t ask for.

Now, if this were an infrequent occurrence, I wouldn’t mention it. But with my Siri’s track record, I’m forever circling unfamiliar city blocks running on fumes and a prayer.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve actually had conversations end with me yelling at her. It’s fun to get a shame beating from a computer-generated voice for getting frustrated and raising my voice.

“Hey, Siri … how many ways can I ask the same simple question? Do you need a translator or maybe need me to speak in another octave? This is such an idiotic …”

BEEP! … “Stacey, you have the right to feel that way.”

It’s shocking when she responds to my tantrum, acting like a therapist. Thankfully, this response makes me laugh, so I’ve never thrown my phone out of the moving car — yet. But don’t push it, Siri! I just might trade you in for Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s assistant.

Share