November 9, 2011

Take A Look At My (Cloud) Girlfriend

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Sorry. There was a point when I started writing this. Oh yeah, I remember now.

Are you a single fella? Looking for that special someone? Nightlife not your scene? Don't auto-erotically asphyxiate yourself just yet, Johnny! The answer lies over yonder jump!

Your saving grace has arrived in the form of Cloud Girlfriend! What is Cloud Girlfriend, I assume you ask? Well, why not let them tell you all about it!
So, what I got out of that is that you create your own personal Kelly LeBrock (look it up, kids) and *poof*, she's your new Facebook girlfriend. Them what runs the Cloud Girlfriend..."service"...seem to be selling it as a "community." The word "community" is online speak for "hey, there are girls here, too!" Not buying it.

The premise of this really is somewhat brilliant. It preys upon the idea that women will want what they can't have. So if little Jessie Johnson down the street sees you're suddenly "in a relationship" with Mary Muffdiver, well, shucks, she's gonna wonder what makes you so great and want to take a run at you herself. The morals of it are dubious, at best. The whole thing has a creepy "help me find my lost puppy" feel to it that I can't shake. It's a virtual rope-a-dope.

There are also practical dilemmas in place. The good thing about the Internet is that you can trick people with things like Cloud Girlfriend. The better thing about the Internet is that there are people, like me, who are more better at the Internet than you. Thus the awkward "So, you created a fake girlfriend on Facebook?" conversation will likely negate any cool points you momentarily gained from having a "girlfriend."

Now, there's another even ickier aspect to this. It stems from the people running Cloud Girlfriend. It's as simple as this: nobody wants to be alone. Even if we are a loner, Dottie. A rebel. At the end of the day, we all want someone to hold us and tell us we're funny. Some find that other half, others don't. Even if you don't find that someone, there's a good chance you're not so desperate as to create a fake girlfriend. But as Jan Brady taught us, sometimes you need to meet George Glass.

And that kind of breaks my heart. That someone would be so desperate for people to believe that someone could love them, that they would invent an entire person just to meet some impossible criteria that belongs to a third party. The loneliness and daily pain that someone like that must face. To reach the point where they believe the only person who'd love them is...well, themselves, albeit in a split personality role. Incredibly sad.

The makers of Cloud Girlfriend are banking on this poor, desperate person. I try to stay somewhat morally ambiguous, but to profit or prey on the misfortunes of others...well, that shit ain't cool. I wonder if they ever considered what kind of person would be using their service. Here's a  hint: it's not Johnny Football Hero. It's more likely to be the guy who's been mocked and tormented for no reason other than being himself. The guy who is fully willing to lie to himself about his Cloud Girlfriend, in the hopes that the real girl of his dreams might take notice of his new found Casanova status. The guy who hopes to God that none of his friends find out about his new "girlfriend's" non-existence. Because he's suffered so much ridicule up to the point where he decided to create his own paramour.

I don't know what it is to be in that guy's shoes. But the thought of it makes me incredibly sad. Nobody should ever think of themselves the things that that person likely thinks. And nobody should ever feel like their only chance at a relationship is with a figment of their own imagination (with a little cyber help from the fine human beings at Cloud Girlfriend). 

In an ideal world, we all meet the woman/man of our dreams. And we know instantly when we've met them. And we get married and raise our perfect children in a perfect house in accordance with our perfect lives. But this world isn't ideal. There are wars, disasters, inexplicable cruelties and websites like Cloud Girlfriend. And while I certainly don't equate a website with the aforementioned horrors, I find it hard to believe that, in the long run, it is doing any great service to 1)those who use it and 2)those who profit from it. 

If you find yourself thinking something like Cloud Girlfriend is your answer, think of this: With Cloud Girlfriend, you're basically dating yourself. Don't you deserve better than yourself?

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