I knew my marriage might be in trouble when my iPhone didn’t even recognize my wife.
I had been practicing with my new smartphone at work and wanted to take the opportunity to show off in front of my wife, Beth. Using “Siri”—Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” that “understands” your regular speech and can send text messages, find directions, schedule meetings, and search the web—I spoke into the phone, saying, “Siri, schedule a dinner appointment with Beth for Wednesday, June 17 at 5 pm.”
Beth looked at me with surprise. Would the phone really put our date night on my calendar just by my telling it to do so? Surely, I thought, my wife would be very impressed with my new technological abilities.
But Siri let me down. “With which Beth would you like me to schedule your dinner appointment on June 17?” the female voice responded.
My wife Beth was demoted to just one of many Beths on my contact list, and Siri, the intelligent personal assistant, did not know which Beth I wanted to take out to dinner.
Smartphones: A Blessing or Curse?
I had been resisting the smartphone trend for years. Content with my simple flip phone (which my colleagues at work dubbed my “stupid phone”), I did not want the constant, easy access to email, Internet, blogs, texts, and social media to disrupt conversations and distract me from giving the best of my attention to my family, my studies, my teaching, and my God.