Over the past couple of years, voice search has become increasingly prevalent in our tech-advanced world. It is easier than ever to simply “ask” Google or Siri what we want to find out – be it the weather in a different country or the most affordable smartphone with the best kind of camera. We have a plethora of options to choose from: Siri, Google Voice, Alexa, and even Cortana.

So, what exactly is a voice search?

Do you remember the video of a toddler demanding that Alexa play her favourite song Baby Shark that went viral on social media last year?

Simply put, voice search refers to voice recognition technology that enables Internet searches by speaking into a device. This technology is extremely popular in today’s day and age. What makes it so is its convenience and ease of accessibility – people can search with just the click of a button. They don’t have to do anything but speak into their phone’s microscope, and they get answers immediately. This, then, makes you realise that even typing can be avoided in favour of a voice search. There’s that much energy saved. Voice search feeds into our “instant gratification” mindset and truly makes us realise how dependent we are on our phones (and other devices) for nearly everything.

According to an article in CMS Wire, analytics firm ComScore predicts that half of all searches will be voice-activated by next year. There is no doubt that voice search seems to have overtaken text search in terms of popularity. But there’s one question that arises in my mind even as I ponder over this: what does it mean for real, face-to-face connections? If we are turning to our devices even to ask a small question, where does that leave us?

In all honesty, it seems like a catch-22. Technological advances are certainly something to celebrate; however, they come with the distinct possibility of making us even more wrapped up in the glare of our screens than we already are. But as with everything, I suppose moderation is the key – using voice search (and, indeed, all of technology) mindfully will ensure that we don’t, in fact, replace technology with real human interaction and connection. After all, can asking Google for a chocolate be a substitute for going to the store and actually choosing one for yourself? I don’t think so. I’m trying to imagine the scenario in my head…and somehow, it’s just not adding up.



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