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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday January 27 2015, @09:45PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the all-I-got-was-this-stupid-T-shirt dept.

Caitlin Dewey writes in the Washington Post that she's been using a new service called "Invisible Boyfriend" and that she's fallen in love with it. When you sign up for the service, you design a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to your specifications. "You pick his name, his age, his interests and personality traits. You tell the app if you prefer blonds or brunettes, tall guys or short, guys who like theater or guys who watch sports. Then you swipe your credit card — $25 per month, cha-ching! — and the imaginary man of your dreams starts texting you." Invisible boyfriend is actually boyfriends, plural: The service’s texting operation is powered by CrowdSource, a St. Louis-based tech company that manages 200,000 remote, microtask-focused workers. "When I send a text to the Ryan number saved in my phone, the message routes through Invisible Boyfriend, where it’s anonymized and assigned to some Amazon Turk or Fivrr freelancer. He (or she) gets a couple of cents to respond. He never sees my name or number, and he can’t really have anything like an actual conversation with me." Dewey says that the point of Invisible Boyfriend is to deceive the user’s meddling friends and relatives. "I was newly divorced and got tired of everyone asking if I was dating or seeing someone," says co-founder Matthew Homann. "There seems to be this romance culture in our country where people are looked down upon if they aren't in a relationship."

Evidence suggests that people can be conned into loving just about anything. There is no shortage of stories about couples carrying on “relationships” exclusively via Second Life , the game critic Kate Gray recently published an ode to “Dorian,” a character she fell in love with in a video game, and one anthropologist argues that our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis. “The Internet is a disinhibiting medium, where people’s emotional guard is down,” says Mark Griffiths. “It’s the same phenomenon as the stranger on the train, where you find yourself telling your life story to someone you don’t know.” It’s not exactly the stuff of fairytales, concludes Dewey. "But given enough time and texts—a full 100 are included in my monthly package—I’m pretty sure I could fall for him. I mean, er … them."

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday January 27 2015, @09:50PM

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @09:50PM (#138645) Journal

    Christ. What a dystopia. It's hard to know where to begin with a critique.

    I'll be down on Fillmore, playing jazz, if anybody wants me...

    --
    You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 27 2015, @09:58PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @09:58PM (#138647) Journal

      Oh you just need to buy my cloud-based $50 anti-ennui service. For that nominal fee, any time you feel that everything in society is a shallow facade of meaning placed upon consumeristic cash grabs that actually increase human suffering, simply text your concern to our app. We will then take your message, run it through a sophisticated pattern matching algorithm and deliver you an inspirational quote the highlights the value and meaning of life.

      You only have a 5 minute break in your job that consists mostly of busywork and sitting on your ass, nonetheless occupying 40% of your lifetime? We'll replicate an entire meaningful conversation for you!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dyingtolive on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:27PM

        by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:27PM (#138656)

        I both hate you and want to give you money.

        --
        Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by sigma on Wednesday January 28 2015, @01:07AM

          by sigma (1225) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @01:07AM (#138700)

          Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert!!!

          • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Wednesday January 28 2015, @01:32AM

            by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @01:32AM (#138702)

            Oh, you flatterer!

            --
            Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:01AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:01AM (#138709)

              Oh, you flatterer!

              You forgot to ask him how much he was charging for that missive. I'm pretty sure that by responding you are now obligated to pay.

              • (Score: 3, Funny) by sigma on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:52AM

                by sigma (1225) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:52AM (#138723)

                Well, It's one pound for a five minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

  • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:06PM

    by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:06PM (#138649)

    So clients of this system are basically twisting to play deceptive games upon their loved ones who are just expressing concern for them?

    Instead of simply talking to people and saying, "look, it bothers me when you keep asking me about this, buzz off, I'll let you know," it's better to risk developing emotional attachment to a lie you yourself fabricated? Glad they have their pretend relationships; I'd rather be single than date someone like that.

    --
    Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:38PM (#138683)

      Show some backbone, people.

      I have a loving and supportive family who is concerned for my happiness. My parents once asked me why I've been single for so long since my last relationship, and if I was doing well socially. I didn't lie, or feel the need to. I could tell their concern was coming from a place of love, not an attempt to shame me. So I told them I'm happy, because I genuinely am. They want me to find a partner because their underlying concern is my happiness, and most people ("normal" people) find companionship and romance a necessary component of happiness. It's not necessary for me. For whatever reasons, I don't need it. I've tried it, and all it did was make me appreciate my time alone even more. My life improved immediately when I realized this about myself. Giving up the struggle was the most liberating moment of my adult life.

      What kind of spineless, passive aggressive, person would use this sort of thing? It seems utterly dehumanizing and humiliating for everyone involved. There's no shame in being single. There's a lot of shame in hiding who you are by lying--and paying a monthly fee to do so.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:57PM (#138691)

        Show some backbone, people.

        I have a loving and supportive family who is concerned for my happiness

        Apparently not loving enough to teach you that not everyone has the same set of circumstances as yourself. Sounds like you've never had a controlling parent who makes endure their badgering if you want to have a relationship with them. This service is a kind of judo to help keep the peace. I think the fact that you are permanently single means you've never had to make the the sort real-world compromises that are a necessary part of a functioning relationship. Perhaps that unwillingness to compromise for others in your life is the very reason you are single.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:25AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:25AM (#138713)

          unwillingness to compromise for others

          You're not compromising with your badgering parent by using this service, you're just deceiving them. And by not putting a stop to it early, you just set yourself up for more problems. What happens when they demand to meet this fictional person and you can't ever produce them? More badgering. Part of growing up is having your relationship with your parents mature into one between adults who show each other respect. Your over-involved parent isn't showing you respect by constantly haranguing you over your relationship status, and you're not showing respect by lying about it.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by sigma on Wednesday January 28 2015, @05:38AM

            by sigma (1225) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @05:38AM (#138761)

            What happens when they demand to meet this fictional person and you can't ever produce them?

            Hollywood romcom movie starring Matthew McConaughey in 3.2.1...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @05:59AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @05:59AM (#138764)

            >> unwillingness to compromise for others
            >
            > You're not compromising with your badgering parent by using this service,

            Compromising for is not the same as compromising with.

            > What happens when they demand to meet this fictional person and you can't ever produce them?

            You break up. Please don't be that guy who thinks they can disprove a concept by assuming everyone is really stupid.

            > Your over-involved parent isn't showing you respect by constantly haranguing you over your relationship status, and you're not showing respect by lying about it.

            Fantastic. And back in the real world you live with hand you are dealt.

            • (Score: 1) by Mr. Slippery on Wednesday January 28 2015, @06:24PM

              by Mr. Slippery (2812) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @06:24PM (#138968) Homepage

              And back in the real world you live with hand you are dealt.

              Ah, I think I see the problem here, AC. You -- and a lot of other people, apparently -- don't realize that the game is draw poker. You get to throw cards back. (You also get to bluff, but let's start with the basics.)

              Paying for a fake boyfriend app rather than exercising the difficult but vital skill of drawing and enforcing relationship boundaries is not a path conducive to long-term mental health.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @06:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @06:59AM (#138781)

        I might, actually.

        Except it's too post-modern.

        I just can't handle how post-modern this is.

        Ok, I mean, my best friend seems to have found true love. My internet boyfriend might actually be getting laid (by one of those cisgendered female types!). I even managed to keep the furnace running another year.

        This is just too post-modern.

        Granted, I'm lonely. But shit!

        It started in Japan, and now it's crazy! Fantasy love lifes!

        Fuck it. I'll just be lonely. At least I know people who have flesh-and-blood relationships.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Nuke on Wednesday January 28 2015, @11:35AM

        by Nuke (3162) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @11:35AM (#138826)

        Dewey says that the point of Invisible Boyfriend is to deceive the user’s meddling friends and relatives.

        Dewey says that is the point, but I don't think it is. If you want to deceive your relatives that you have a distant GF/BF, why not just go ahead and lie? Why pay into this charade? You cannot produce the GF/BF in any case.

        I think the similarity to Tamagotchi (or whatever it's called) is more the point.

  • (Score: 2) by iamjacksusername on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:10PM

    by iamjacksusername (1479) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:10PM (#138650)

    I always wondered what the hetero-female focused equivalent to camwhores were. Now I know. This is a real-time Harlequin sex story. And I am kicking myself for not having thought of it first. Sigh.

    • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:12PM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:12PM (#138651)

      Soon as I get home I'm going to review my text file of project ideas I scrapped because "the only people who would use them are batshit insane."

      I think I have a user base.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:28PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:28PM (#138658)

        because "the only people who would use them are batshit insane."

        I've been online, either bbs or internet, since '84 and nothing could be weirder that some of the pr0n out there. Its hard to be surprised anymore.

        So I'm just saying, post a suggestion weirder than the weirdest pr0n... I suspect this will be very challenging.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by VLM on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:22PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:22PM (#138653)

    Hmm 2210 UTC, time for VLM's standup comedy routine.

    "Good Evening Soylents, did you all hear about the new startup called Invisible Girlfriend? The FTC regulators made them change the name to Invisible Wife, because theres no sex!" Well maybe I'll forget all this standup comedy stuff and stick to computer thingies.

    It was either that concept, or something along the lines of chicks like to complain about their boyfriends being insensitive / lazy / excessively gassy so the perfect imaginary boyfriend wasn't living up to the expectations, or whatever.

    One thing I don't understand is when Turk was newish or newer or trendy or not tired, I had meatspace buddies who thought it a HILARIOUS game to try to turk faster than they can drink. So you turk $1.10 of parenting psychological surveys and you drink no more than $1.10 of beer or whatever. God only knows what happens to their turk reputation when they're transcribing blueprints for nuclear reactors or filling out psychological surveys after a dozen beers. Anyway back on topic I can just picture one of those dudes after 11 bottles of liquid courage turking as virtual boyfriend and asking the chick for a nude selfie, or sending her a sausage pix, or giving her the true boyfriend experience by drunkenly texting her that he banged her best female friend. I wonder how the company works around this. I've read some funny 4chan / halfchan threads along the lines of "this chick just texted me out of the blue, dubs controls what I text back", and I can just imagine those guys gaining access to this service. I wonder if the company is in the business of telling chicks what they want to hear, if they only allow female turkers to respond, after all no one knows what a woman wants better than another woman. Maybe they'll let me watch.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:27PM (#138657)

      Stop calling them chicks. Bitches hate that.

      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:25PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:25PM (#138679) Journal

        Yeah, but I love me some haters.

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @09:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @09:42AM (#138814)

        'bitch' is a swear word, and i fucking hate it when people swear!

  • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:36PM

    For the idea that some people have more money than sense.

    --
    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:46PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 27 2015, @10:46PM (#138667) Journal

      For the idea that some people have more money than sense.

      I assure you a REAL boyfriend or girlfriend costs much more than $25/month.

      This won't eat everything in your fridge, leave the sink full of dishes, snoop through your phone, and revenge porn you when you find out they were 1) married, and 2) dating your (now ex) best friend on the side.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:42PM

        I don't mind having a relationship with a real human being with whom I can converse, argue, let them eat my food, wash or not wash my dishes, be romantic and have sexual relations.

        It's lots of fun. I highly recommend it. Regardless of the cost.

        Seeing as I am not a lying sack of shit and don't exploit others solely for my benefit, I don't have issues like that. I also am a pretty good judge of people, which has served me well over the years. Bad eggs don't get very far with me.

        Paying $25/month to lie to yourself and those around you is the height of narcissism and self-absorption, IMHO. I don't have time for crap like that. I like who I am and those I choose to have around me do too.

        If you feel the need to embellish your life with lies to make yourself feel better or to appear a certain way to others, then I have pity for you.

        At times it can be better to be unencumbered by a romantic relationship, but filling your life with lies to satisfy some personal or cultural issue is a waste. I prefer to live my life honestly and without reservation or subterfuge. You should try it sometime. It's quite satisfying.

        --
        No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @12:00AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @12:00AM (#138692)

          Randian relationship ooh bear man for the fail!
          Funny how someone who claims to be so healthy and adjusted has zero empathy for people in different circumstances.

          • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by NotSanguine on Wednesday January 28 2015, @12:38AM

            by NotSanguine (285) <reversethis-{grO ... a} {eniugnaStoN}> on Wednesday January 28 2015, @12:38AM (#138697) Homepage Journal

            Funny how someone who claims to be so healthy and adjusted has zero empathy for people in different circumstances.

            I have empathy. In fact, I said:

            If you feel the need to embellish your life with lies to make yourself feel better or to appear a certain way to others, then I have pity for you.

            I have pity for you too, since your reading comprehension seems to be poor. I'm sorry, friend.

            --
            No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:46AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:46AM (#138721)

              Only someone who is empathy impaired would believe that an insulting and self-aggrandizing "then I have pity for you" qualifies as empathy.

              • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Wednesday January 28 2015, @04:22AM

                by NotSanguine (285) <reversethis-{grO ... a} {eniugnaStoN}> on Wednesday January 28 2015, @04:22AM (#138745) Homepage Journal

                filling your life with lies to satisfy some personal or cultural issue is a waste. I prefer to live my life honestly and without reservation or subterfuge. You should try it sometime. It's quite satisfying.

                --
                No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @06:03AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @06:03AM (#138767)

                  > You should try it sometime. It's quite satisfying.

                  You seem hung up on that phrase. Almost like you are trying to convince yourself that your obviously rigid and sanctimonious approach to relationships is "satisfying."

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Wednesday January 28 2015, @04:47PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @04:47PM (#138946) Journal

        I assure you a REAL boyfriend or girlfriend costs much more than $25/month.

        That depends a lot on where and how you live. Here (UK) the rent for a place that's comfortable for two people is a lot less than double the rent for somewhere that's comfortable for one. The cost of food for two is less than double the cost of food for one. The same goes for the amount of washing up and so on.

        --
        sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:05PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:05PM (#138669) Journal

    I am noticing a lot my single friends are particularly stung by rejection. With services like this "Invisible Boyfriend" and concepts like Men Going Their Own Way [reddit.com] and The Red Pill [doctornerdlove.com] becoming popular, it seems like many people are fed up with dating and the opposite sex in general. Maybe if both genders lowered their standards just a bit, there would be a lot more happy people.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:23PM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:23PM (#138678)

      You don't need to lower your standards, just your expectations. Nobody's perfect; odds are you're far from it yourself.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @12:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @12:07AM (#138694)

        One of the problems is women who get used by manipulative men. They first see the guy as awesome then he uses her for sex and leaves to use someone else. As she looks back on this one relationship she sees herself as good enough to always attract 'awesome' men like him and then goes about ignoring everyone else who's interested in her because she's too far above them.

        People grab the furthest they've reached and pretend that it's their norm.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @09:46AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @09:46AM (#138815)

          They first see the guy as awesome then he uses her for sex and leaves to use someone else. As she looks back on this one relationship she sees herself as good enough to always attract 'awesome' men like him and then goes about ignoring everyone else who's interested in her because she's too far above them.

          I'm going to assume that was sarcasm, cos surely you can't be that thick.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @07:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @07:16AM (#138783)

        I'd like to second this. Nobody's perfect.

        My internet "boyfriend" is struggling between two girls he's dating. I'm trying to suss out whether he wants a squeeze or a wife. He hasn't been in bed before. (Backup plan was we were going to get together this summer lol)

        I hate to rick roll, but it's relevant. Nobody's perfect, but eventually one must go for the full commitment.

        I think it's funny that rick roll has become a thing, when i believe that it's a video that has a very moral ground.

        Feh, this coming from a transgendered homosexual.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @07:28AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @07:28AM (#138785)

      I'm probably weird, but I had higher hopes for Men Going Their Own Way.

      That was until I learned that being transgendered meant I was a communist feminist.

      I was confused until I realized MGTOW is really just the same sexism I faced before. Being officially determined by a board to be a criminal not caught in the act yet... responsible for the actions of others... I think MGTOW by determining I'm a communist feminist the same as the feminist had determined I was a rapist rather invalidated their claim to not be sexist.

      It's sad.

      • (Score: 2) by GeminiDomino on Wednesday January 28 2015, @03:33PM

        by GeminiDomino (661) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @03:33PM (#138910)

        Uh... What?

        --
        "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
        • (Score: 2) by jdccdevel on Wednesday January 28 2015, @04:32PM

          by jdccdevel (1329) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @04:32PM (#138940) Journal

          I read that as the AC saying that MGTOW is to women the same way that "Radical Feminism" is to men.

          I.E. Both philosophies are highly sexist, view the opposite sex as some sort of collective enemy (holding the entire gender accountable for the actions of the few), and basically exist to provide an excuse to treat those of the other gender like dirt.

          The fact that the AC is transgendered means that he/she gets mistreated just as badly from both sides.

          As a note, I do wish the English language had a non-gender-specific third person singular pronoun instead of just "He" or "She". I guess "They" could work, but "They" has an implied plurality that is somewhat awkward.

          • (Score: 2) by GeminiDomino on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:32PM

            by GeminiDomino (661) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:32PM (#139003)

            Your parser is more resilient than mine, apparently. :) Thanks.

            I never considered MGTOW to be inherently sexist in itself (which is not to say the bleating nitwits infesting the various forums are not), unlike feminism[0], or at least I never thought of it as such. It's just the rational conclusion of looking at the risks vs rewards to a sexist system - I don't think women are more or less likely to turn on, backstab, or taking advantage of someone than men are, but the way the legal system is (at least in the US), they do have the potential for greater single-target damage, particularly in the context of a relationship. Add in the actual social advancements women have made so that fewer people are feeling the requirement to get married in order to have a fulfilling relationship, and in the end, "getting hitched and settling down" becomes less compelling as a goal, especially if one's overcome the biological imperative to bring more kids into a fucked up world. It's got nothing to do with "womenz are teh evil," and plenty to do with "the law is a friggin' mess," at least in my case.

            "Going my own way" doesn't mean "doing unto women before they do unto me," it just means not putting myself into a position where I have to sacrifice my self-determination. No putting up with ultimatums (ultimata?) or guilt trips, none of that bullshit; if both/all parties keep things honest about what they want from the get go and expectations stay reasonable, it can work out pretty well. I've been with the same woman for over 10 years now (half-gloating, half-preemptively fending off any PUA-conflation)

            [0] Which is a completely different flamewar, only mentioned because of the comparison originally made.

            --
            "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by darkfeline on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:10PM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:10PM (#138670) Homepage

    I'm sure you've heard the stories (or perhaps you haven't?) of those darn Japanese guys getting married to their Nintendo DSs. Specifically, their fictional girlfriend characters in the dating sim games called Love Plus. There's actually an extremely wide variety of example, but this one I've seen pop up in the news a lot back when pop media picked up on it.

    Anyhow, I fall in roughly the same social niche, that is watching anime, liking cute anime girls, that sort of thing. My attitude toward the whole dating or marrying a "waifu" (basically, a fictional character that one loves seriously) thing is "ha ha, only serious", although I'm not personally entertaining that idea. I have played a few visual novels and even eroges before, but just recently I started playing my first dating sim, and now I can really sympathize with these people who fall in love with fictional characters. Sure it's just pixels on the screen, but when I see that Ion (the character in my dating sim) become upset or sad, I can't help but feel the tugging at my heartstrings. I am only human, after all, and I respond unconsciously toward certain visual cues that resemble a sad human face, and audio cues that resemble a sad human voice.

    This is a hard thing to convince someone because it seems so unnatural and "fake", but there's really nothing wrong with it. Have you ever read a book that really sucked you in and made you feel like you were experiencing the world in the book yourself? Well, a well-written dating sim can do the same, and like with a book, your imagination can help you fill in the blanks. Not to devalue it, but a relationship is basically necessary only to satisfy an emotional need; there's no reason why you NEED a living breathing human to do it. Hell, some people satisfy that need with a pet, like a cat or a dog; is that unnatural? Nowadays many people satisfy that need through Facebook; is that unnatural (I think it is, but that's because I hate Facebook enough to be hypocritical about it)? If you decide to enter a relationship with a fictional character, that relationship will involve a lot of your own imagination, but so will a relationship with a human being. You see your partner's smile, and you imagine that she's happy, but there's no way to really know, is there? It's no different from seeing a picture of her smile, or a picture of a fictional character's smile.

    I could write more, but the bottom line is, please don't look down on the way other people derive their emotional satisfaction as long as it doesn't involve hurting other people, even if you can't understand it.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:39PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:39PM (#138684) Journal

      You are just a crop, waiting to be harvested in this field of delusions. You have inverted your narcissism as an outward projection, onto a canvas that was made only to reflect it.

      That's why these losers go for simulations - real people shatter the illusion of this projection from time to time.

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:49AM (#138722)

        Wow, there is a stunning lack of self-awareness in your post.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:38PM (#138682)

    Consider the irony of telling these girls that their online boyfriend might actually be a woman.

    Now consider what sort of text conversation you could have with a different person is responding to each text. Might sound like your boyfriend's name is Eliza.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by nightsky30 on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:55PM

    by nightsky30 (1818) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @11:55PM (#138690)

    our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis.

    Have I fed you guys yet today? You're looking droopy.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:44AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:44AM (#138806)

    1) Love. This is about deceiving yourself. This is sad but I totally get it. (I'm in an OKish relationship with a meatsack.)
    2) Appearances. Deceiving people around you, pathetic and I don't approve. (Fuck them.)

    • (Score: 2) by threedigits on Wednesday January 28 2015, @10:33AM

      by threedigits (607) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @10:33AM (#138819)

      This is about deceiving yourself.

      As I see it, it's not different from watching porn. It's a fantasy that generates an hormonal response. Like read love stories, only interactive. There's nothing wrong if it doesn't interfere with your real life relationships. Go and enjoy it, just remember that it should mess with your life and relationships (it probably won't).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28 2015, @02:57PM (#138886)

    That's a pretty low number if you're trying to imitate a modern relationship. Looking at my phone, I'm averaging about 260/month with the gf, and that's just texts. I doubt this service includes gchat in their basic $25/month package.

    Why not just rename "Janet" to "John" in your contacts if you're showing your text history to overbearing relatives. If you're satisfying an emotional need, the $25 isn't going to do it for long, you're going to want more.

  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Wednesday January 28 2015, @11:07PM

    by Aiwendil (531) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @11:07PM (#139044) Journal

    Feeling a bit mischevious tonight..

    Could this be set up with the profile of an overly clingy partner? I mean, imagine the horrors of setting such a profile and signing it up with someone else's phonenumber.

    Or the scumbag route - set it up for your s.o's number with a profile of what she would consider to be a perfect mate, and then use it as a reason to break up?

    I see endless abuse-potential in this - other than that I'd say that just hooking a MegaHAL up to an instant messenger would do the job well enough if the purpose is to ward off parents.