October 13, 2013

Finding Siri: A Modern Quest for Meaning & Connection.

Sometimes I google things—not normal things like the history of velcro (always interesting), or my own name (always a let down)—but things like:

What is happiness?

What is a good job?

What should I do today?

What does it all mean?

Yep. The internet—more specifically, search engines—have become the repository for my biggest questions, my deepest concerns, my endless search for meaning and connection.

Just yesterday I googled:

Question: What would be a good reason to get off of my couch?

Answer(s): Lots of articles about exercising including, “50 Best Exercises for The Muffin Top.”

Conclusion: Google doesn’t get me.

While I was questioning technologies ability to solve my “meaning of life” kind of dilemma, I realized I hadn’t tried talking to someone who is always with me. Someone I can always count on, as long as I keep them far away from liquid, children and follow basic-maintenance requirements. Someone I can trust.

My smart phone.

My smart phone has this magical button, and when I push it it says, “What would you like to do?

I began to make a series of requests to this thing called the galaxy. (Sounds promising.)

Galaxy: What would you like to do?

Me: Find happiness

Galaxy: Connects me to fucking Google

Conclusion: The galaxy is made of Google, and not only does Google does not get me, but now the entire galaxy may not either.

I try—with less hope than before—once more.

Galaxy: What would you like to do?

Me: Find my purpose.

Galaxy: “I have no specific answers for that”  And then just more Google

Conclusion: This modern quest for meaning and connection through technology may be way off base. Or there actually are no specific answers to my questions, so I may as well keep talking to my phone.

I am about to abandon my premise that technology offers an opportunity for a greater understanding of the meaning of things ; but, before I do I am heading out in search of Siri. She is the soul of an even smarter smart phone. She is my last hope. If Siri can’t answer my deepest questions about life, I might have to do things like, ‘discover myself,’ find a way to be ‘peaceful,’ and talk about my ‘feelings.’

(I am really banking on Siri.)

In the meantime I may have to get off of my couch before I also have to deal with this thing called a ‘muffin top.’

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Ed: Sara Crolick

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