Siri: You Don’t Own Me–I Own You

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

In our current iNeedEverything era, most people don’t just have an iPhone. Most people also have an iPad to flash at the office, an iPod that connects to their paycheck-sucking iTunes account, and probably an old iTouch lying around (because at one point in our lives, paying for a $30 data plan was just plain outrageous!). And it’s not our fault we’ve collected this myriad of digital companionship. (Right?) I mean, why wouldn’t we fall into the trap of buying all this after watching Apple commercials that proclaim that all of life’s happiness is neatly packaged into this little gadget? And even if you aren’t tantalized by the promises of everlasting happiness, then at the very least you must want to join the revolution, so as not to be left out as one of those people who still reads paper newspapers, looms around the bookstore, and use phones for (gasp!) calling people.

But the problem is not the gadgets, or for that matter, anything else that us modern consumers can’t seem to live without. The problem is that when consumerism sky-rocketed simultaneously with mass-media advertising, all of a sudden the concept of dissatisfaction was born. Well, that’s even saying it lightly—dissatisfaction was born and then quickly grew into a toddler who constantly screams at us and leaves us half-drunk at the end of vodka-infused night of regrets. In other words, nothing is ever good enough for us these days. Not even having four different forms of iCrap.

But the issue goes even deeper than consumerism, and looms in the depths of how we mold our lifestyles. Job dissatisfaction, economic dissatisfaction, relationship dissatisfaction: all these are hitting us at the same time, because we see movies and TV shows that produce an image of a life that doesn’t really exist. It’s like the world has begun to choose for us how to feel, rather than us choosing for ourselves. And here’s my guilty confession: I sit back and take it! Well, of course, as a writer I should be living like Carrie Bradshaw, flirting with an expensive lifestyle filled with martini lounges and Manolo Blahniks. Oh, but reality: I get paid nothing to write and I go out for drinks at a Japanese grill because it’s half-priced in the afternoon. And my shoes are from the Rack.  Oh how trendy TV shows paint a pretty picture of what we all think we should have.

But of course there’s always a caveat. While the dissatisfaction virus does propel us into a very fake reality (hello, ‘made in China’ Fendi bag!), there is a way to use our dissatisfaction for good rather than evil. How? Separate dissatisfaction from unhappiness. It’s okay to demand more from life, as long as you realize that the way life is right now is perfectly great, too. Dissatisfaction makes people aspire to be better, so we can’t kick it down completely. I mean, if I felt all-together satisfied working my day job, I certainly wouldn’t be giving up an afternoon at the beach to sit at my computer writing, while Pandora keeps choking me with Justin Bieber songs.

Moral of the story: don’t let media make you hate your life! Just like a Mullet, dissatisfaction has to trimmed and tamed. Let dissatisfaction propel you forward. But don’t be unhappy with your current job, bank account, or friendships.

No matter how many times Apple tries to convince you that Siri is the only companion you need.

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About OneWeekToCrazy

Writer in my real life, Milton in my work life. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Posted on June 17, 2012, in Lifestyle, Social Cues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This is a powerful article. Your point about separating dissatisfaction from unhappiness clarifies it for me. The theme is interesting because I have spent a lot of time on (art) marketing blogs which suggest that marketers need to find their client’s ‘problem’ and offer a solution rather than sell the art work. that seems to speak to the ethos of dissatisfaction (or unhappiness).

  2. Great article!

  3. I think as with everything, moderation is key. We can’t allow ourselves to be consumed by anything, including technology. We should always leave room for reality (but that does NOT include reality TV 🙂 )

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it. 🙂

    • I agree…it’s tough to draw the line of what is too much or too little (espeically in the way of technology), but I guess that’s not the worse problem to have either!

      Thanks!

  4. That was really well siad! I also appreciated the part about people having” four different forms of iCrap.” Very insightful view and hopfully we will be coming to this insight together as a population. It’s been on my mind alot lately as I get ready to clean out and organise my two yes two storage units. Not large storge units but none the less way more “stuff” than I really need to own. :+)

    • Thanks! Yeah, I have a few “junk drawers” myself that are needing some purging (I know, drawers don’t seem like a lot, but it really is when living in an apartment in Chi!) Good luck getting everything organized…you’ll feel so much better when it’s all done!

      Cheers, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. A very enlightening post. Thank you for shedding a light to the iGadgets and tech stuff madness. Before iPhone, I was happy with my free camera but then somehow I got one and though I think its cool particularly the camera which I do used frequently for my blog’s post, it also can be a bad thing. Notice how people looks so hypnotized by their phones anywhere. And yes, we should not join the “I got the latest” hysteria thing. Consumerism has it’s dark side. Great post.

  6. As long as you channel that dissatisfaction (wherever it comes from, be it consumerism or not) into motivation or a spark that pushes you to do something, it’s more good than not.
    Great article, gives food for thought.

  7. Sincerely I prefer Android 🙂
    Anyway, that’s a great post! I have nothing else to add to it – all was said and well-written!

  8. I had utterly forgotten there was a time when I had an itouch because I was outraged at the iphone’s enforced data plan…

  9. Good post. There’s something about our consumer culture and decieving you about what happiness is or isn’t. Marketing is so much more powerful than people think. Which is why I don’t shop at malls, read beauty magazines or watch too much t.v. I always feel like I need things afterwards.

  10. scribbleofhappygoluckygal

    Siri..sometimes talks as though he owns us.. good u warned..hhheeeeee:):)

  11. You make some great points, enjoyed reading! I now want to refer to apple products as iCrap. 🙂

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