Finally, someone has sent me a note! I had just upgraded a few photos, revised my summary to sound more charming and less intense (I’m a playwright, after all, fitting the word to the action is what I do), Intense is scary, right?
Look! a word of sweetness in my Inbox…
We start to email back and forth, like “normal” adults…a few questions here and there, the usual. I am a careful wordsmith, never saying anything too revealing…pretty funny, eh? what with this blog, seen by millions? (okay, 10) … “He” gets intrigued… I think, “Of course he’s intrigued, I can spin a phrase, dangle a few metaphors, what else is more attractive than that I wonder?” (don’t answer that) “He” leans in—spills a few gushy words in my direction. My ego is fed. Maybe I’m not a loser after all, ugly, old, boring.
For a few days, I am slightly atwitter about my Inbox… checking it a bit too often. I write a note. He writes back. We’re getting to know each other in written notes? How delicious is that? That’s 90 percent of why I write a blog, why I write or read anything… I hunger to know.
But it hits me – you can see where this leading if you notice my quotation marks. Something’s amiss…It’s all in the language! It’s in the punctuation, the nuance of curves, the commas are so revealing… maybe even some topsy-turvy verbs. I had already reminded myself not to be too harsh about grammar, etc…maybe I’m dealing with English as a second or third language… But no…that’s not it. He’s not really responding, he’s pretend responding.
There is no “He.” “He is an “It?”
My friends tell me that he’s probably just a weirdo with poor language skills, playing his hand clumsily.
No, I think it is a chatbot. Pure software. Reeling in those of us iin need of connection – that would be all of us—this will lead to asking for money, no doubt. …augh, I’m hurt, I’m aghast, I’m even horrified. The very concept turns my stomach. But I’m also a little ashamed of myself, blinded by my vanity, my wanting? “When you prick us, do we not bleed?”
Rejected on the personal front, I get intrigued by the technology. Do some research. Of course…this is it!…an attempt at human communication. Wow…I love this, what a world to explore. I know we’re hard at it right now, simulating human communication…I’ve “chatted” with online assistants, inspiring a play about a lonely woman finding a sweet word from someone in the Xfinity chat box, looking for love.
The bot took “his” profile down from Match immediately, duh… Match is off the hook. That’s your problem now, idiot. I stopped responding…nary a word. Without a cue, how will the software respond?
It’s a new experiment now.
Okay, no one likes me on Match… but I’ve got new material. Maybe that’s all I want anyway.