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Posted by angela On January - 9 - 2012 2 Comments

It’s curious to realize that in a country like the United States, where a person’s success is measured by independence from ties to family, spouse, or friends, that they would invent Siri, the intelligent voice activated software of the new i-Phone. It may be as intelligent as they claim, but it still imposes a control on the user, don’t you think? The nagging voice in the i-Phone sounds like a bothersome mother, always reminding you to do something. She says, “Remember to get your outfit when you leave work,” or, “Don’t forget to call your dad, it’s his birthday,” or even, “Make a dentist’s appointment, your teeth need cleaning.” What’s worse, she even harps on you to be careful, just like a shrewish wife: “Bring your sunglasses, or you’ll hurt your eyes in Miami.” These are only examples from the online advertisement, but Siri could interfere in your life in a thousand other ways, if you just let her.
At this point, one asks, “Why would Americans accept from Siri what they reject from real human beings?” I could venture a few reasons, but I’ll await your inspiring comments before I go out on a limb. Remember that, as far as I’m concerned, Siri is just a nagging mother, and we Italians already have one that we prefer, of flesh and blood, thank you very much Apple!

Thanks to Mr. Marco Pratellesi (VanityFair.it) for the idea of this post.

Text by Angela Migliorati Novek ©2012 – all rights reserved

2 Responses

  1. Lenda says:

    The key difference for me is the fact that Siri is not actually a person. That is, if you ignore Siri, there is no consequence, and most importantly, no judgement. If real life nagging is the same way, it wouldn’t be considered nagging anymore it simply is a reminder. I think nagging is the step beyond a reminder when it combines a reminder with annoyance. Siri seems to be accepted because you can eliminate the “annoying” factor and it becomes a harmless note, almost like a post-it you would write yourself.

  2. angela says:

    I’m American and I don’t have an iPhone, shocking, but true!

    However, I still think I have an idea of why so many Americans have become dependent on devices such as Siri. In this generation of technology, people have gotten to the point where we are unable to do things without the use of technology. Accidently leaving your phone or computer at home can make one feel “naked” or lost. We are using technology to replace our face-to-face interactions with peers, friends and family.

    I think Siri has become so popular because it allows people to fill the void left by non-existent relationships that were replaced by technology. Maybe if people can talk and have somewhat “intelligible” conversations with their iPhones, they feel more “connected” with their phones.

    I think that this is going to have an adverse reaction on the American people. True, Siri can be a very useful tool in some situations, but I don’t want people to use the device to replace their relationships with their own mothers!

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