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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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