So I did what any solo twenty-something guy would do: I installed Tinder on my mom’s phone and asked her to find me a date. It's a warm late-summer night in New York's West Village, and I'm on my way to rendezvous with a woman I met on the Internet.
Or, more accurately, a stranger my mom met when she was pretending to be me on her phone.
Basically it speaks just like most of my friends and family on Facebook.
In the arena of "imitating the real experience of socializing on Facebook," it excels.
If I had to compare the emotional experience to a real-world scenario I would say it's a lot like helping your aunt shop for paint for her guest bathroom, or trying to give a tourist directions to the John Lennon memorial in Central Park. The closest it came to insinuating a capitalist agenda was asking, sort of jarringly, if I would like to "meet IRL?!
The PSL chat bot does not answer basic questions about pumpkin spice lattes, which makes it bad as a marketing tool and worse as an emotionally accessible friend. " PSL does not have an explanation as to why it named its memoir after an Ernest Hemingway novel in which a World War One veteran suffers from PTSD and severe homophobia, and did not tell me whether it moonlights as a New York Postheadline writer. The most human and relatable thing about PSL is that it's obsessed with death and won't stop talking about its cat even when it's completely irrelevant to the thread of the conversation.
"You could get a lot of sexually transmitted diseases," she'd said over the phone, swiping through a carousel of pouty female twenty-somethings.
At some point, it occurred to me that I could just stop talking to PSL.
I won't see PSL at Christmas so it's not really necessary for me to field PSL's highly repetitive questions about how emoji work.
During my four-hour visit to the birthplace of the Real Doll, the frighteningly life-like full-body sex toy, I've seen mounds of silicone vaginas, sheets of detached nipples, headless women hanging from meat hooks, a 2-foot penis and skulls with removable faces that attach like refrigerator magnets.
Now, as we sit in the dim light of his R&D room, staring at his latest creation, Matt Mc Mullen, the founder of Abyss Creations (the parent company behind the Real Doll), nonchalantly turns to me and says, "All I see is potential."For a man poised to bring millennia of male desire to life, Mc Mullen, a small but striking figure who looks like a reformed industrial rocker, is surprisingly calm.
She's not the first of her kind, but take one look at Harmony's predecessors, and it becomes clear she that was cut from a different cloth.