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No, Siri isn’t saying the end of the world is just hours away

People are asking Siri, “How long until 2020 ends?” and freaking out when the digital assistant says it’s just hours away.

No, Siri isn’t saying the end of the world is just hours away
[Photo: Army Air Forces/Library of Congress]

If you’ve been browsing social media (and honestly, what else is there to do?) the last few hours, you might see people freaking out over an answer Siri has been giving to the question, “Hey Siri, how long until 2020 ends?”

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When people ask that question, the reply they expect to get is that it’s 261 days until the end of 2020 (as in how many days are left between today, April 15, and the end of the year, December 31). Instead, however, Siri is returning answers such as “It’s 13 hours until then.”

And it’s freaking people out.

But look, while I agree things appear bleak with the COVID-19 pandemic marching across the world while Trump autographs checks—still . . . let’s just all chill out, okay? Siri is not saying this year and thus the world and all of time as we know it is ending later today.

[Screenshot]
The reason Siri is returning the answer “It’s [number of] hours until” the end of 2020 is that Siri understands that most of the world operates on a 24-hour clock (aka military time). So when you ask Siri, “How long until 2020 ends?” Apple’s assistant will tell you how many hours are left, according to your local time, until 8:20 p.m. is over.

So, 2020 is not ending ahead of schedule. And chances are you and everyone you love will be there to see when this year ends on schedule in 261 days. Until then, wash your hands, social distance, keep your sh*t together—and maybe lay off the Siri.

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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