If you have an iPhone, you’re no doubt familiar with Siri, the voice-activated virtual assistant who can call your spouse or get you the address of the nearest pizzeria. But this helpful little feature is causing many to wonder about the etiquette of using it, as a recent New York Times article reports.
Listening to others’ phone conversations can be annoying, and Siri’s requirement that you dictate commands (which may have to be repeated) and, even specify the exact punctuation you want, can be a nuisance to those nearby. The article cites an example in which a woman standing in line at a car dealership decided to dictate a text message into her iPhone, causing irritation amongst those waiting with her. It would have been preferable for her to silently type her message rather than disturb others.
The popularity of Siri could also result in a more expanded policy regarding “quiet cars” on trains, which currently only ban phone calls rather than cell phone use.
My advice? Use Siri sparingly, and be considerate to others if you are waiting in line or standing in an elevator. If you can send a text, do so. Don’t assume that everyone wants to be privy to your conversations, human or otherwise!