.

Hey Siri! What Happened to Our Manners?

Are voice controlled virtual assistants ruining our manners? When our children and students overhear our voice commands, does that transfer over to human interaction? I'm already seeing this commanding tone in social media messages and emails I receive FROM ADULTS. I'm beginning to rethink how I will approach speaking to Siri and Alexa.


"Hey Siri! What happened to our manners? Could YOU and others like you be to blame?" I've started rethinking my approach with Siri, especially after overhearing my husband's conversations with Alexa...

A Conversation with Alexa

"Alexa, please set timer for 12 minutes."

"12 minute timer starting now."

"Thank you."

The blue font in the conversation above is a typical example of how my husband, Tim, speaks to Alexa who we have sitting on our kitchen counter. I remember giggling the first time I heard him speaking to her.  My southern gentleman always uses his manners, even with our servant robots😂. Then it started to get me thinking...

Becoming Parents

Last week I shared on social media that after a 9 month process that would make a CIA clearance look easy, Tim and I have finally been approved for domestic infant adoption through Bethany Christian Services! Therefore, all things parenting have been on my mind...a lot.








They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I’m pretty sure this pic is worth a billion+. Tim & I aren’t “pregnant” but our hearts are expanding. You see, that is how #adoption works. Your children grow in your heart, not in your womb. After 9 months of an insane amount of work, we have finally been approved for domestic infant adoption & are a waiting family! We are beyond excited & are buckling down for the wait. (Average wait time is 1-3 years😳) 🍼 I realize that adoption isn’t an everyday conversation for many. I’ve learned so much about this process over the last year & will continue to learn throughout my lifetime. I strongly believe my career as an educator has prepared me for this adventure. A few of those things include: ✔️Paperwork: My days of collecting & organizing mounds of papers helped me tackle the mountain of adoption paperwork that seemed to regenerate each evening. ✔️Assigning homework: Just like I used to pick & choose a few activities to send home with students, with the adoption tasks we had to complete over this past year I found I had to break it into chunks for Tim🤣. Each evening I assigned him a specific task to complete whether that was filling out a paper, attending a meeting/interview, getting a physical, getting fingerprinted, scheduling home visits, watching a webinar, listening to a podcast, working on our photobook, piecing together our website or shooting video clips for our adoption video. ✔️ Training/Education Classes: Boy have we been through quite a few trainings & education classes just like teachers have to endure year after year😉. We only have 15 hours to go🙌. ✔️Ability to love someone else’s child: There isn’t a single doubt in my mind that I will be able to love the child who is placed in our home just as much as if I had a child with my own DNA. Above all else, 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 is what being a teacher has taught me. I have loved & continue to love all the children I have worked with over the years. Heck, I love Rusty🐶& Riley🐶 so much that sometimes I feel like I birthed them🤣 🍼 Today we are celebrating being one step closer! Waiting for you Baby Smith... #hopingtoadopt #adoptionrocks
A post shared by J U L I E 💻S M I T H (@the_techie_teacher_) on

I'm sure many parents and teachers have had this thought before but for some reason it is just now dawning on me how our virtual assistants could possibly be causing all of us to lose our manners. Heck, my most popular blog post, 10 Things Siri Can Do for Teachers and Students, is all about using voice commands in the classroom. But maybe I need to rethink this!

We all know how impressionable children and students are at any age. We have one of the most important roles as adults to model appropriate behaviors with the hopes that our children and students mimic our behavior. However, we need to remember that they will mimic both good and poor behaviors. If they hear us ordering our servant robots around and getting mad when we don't receive the information we need right away, then what is preventing them from acting the same way? These types of behaviors could and DO easily transfers over to interactions with other humans. I'm already seeing this commanding tone in social media messages and emails I receive FROM ADULTS. "I need you to send me..." or "How do you do this..." or "I need this...". ZERO salutation, introduction or "thank you" to conclude.  But that is an entirely different blog post😉.

My New Approach

Therefore, I am now challenging myself to use my manners when ordering around Siri and Alexa. I'm putting myself through Virtual Assistant Bootcamp so when my future children overhear their mother requesting a favor or information from her robot, they too will remember their manners when it comes time to speak, whether that be to a robot or human.

"Alexa, please help me remember my manners."-The Techie Teacher®

Google Home Assistant (update!)

Since writing this post, I have learned that Google's Home Assistant addresses the issue of minding your manners. Last November Google rolled out the Pretty Please feature that causes Google Home devices to respond positively to to polite phrases like "Please" and "Thank you". It will even prompt children to say the magic word when they give a command! You can read more HERE. Maybe I need to switch to a Google Home🤔


Are voice controlled virtual assistants ruining our manners? When our children and students overhear our voice commands, does that transfer over to human interaction? I'm already seeing this commanding tone in social media messages and emails I receive FROM ADULTS. I'm beginning to rethink how I will approach speaking to Siri and Alexa..

Follow me on Pinterest to get more techie ideas:

No comments

Post a Comment