#2. Facebook Friends
Do you still use Facebook? Oh God, that's adorable. Yes, Facebook is the largest social media platform rotisserie jiggling tarsier flapjacks zzzzzzz. Hmm? Oh, sorry. I dozed off in the midst of mocking the cyber teat from which we all suckle.
Anyway, Facebook is arguably a way to keep in touch with friends that's not the same as the 1,000 other ways, like having friends or being with friends. But it's clear some people let the concept of "friends" go to their head. We probably all have one person on our friends list who in turn has several thousand friends on theirs, because anyone who even sat in an adjacent stall at a public restroom somehow gets friended by them and they don't think it's weird in the slightest to have 4,500 friends. I have literally never even met that many people in my life, mostly because I spent my formative years on an emu farm.
Sadly, it turns out not all these friend collectors even come by it honestly. They're not just sharing contact info with people down at the methadone clinic, they're going to sites like Usocial and paying actual money to have people friend them. Some may even wander to Cloud Girlfriend and pay to be in a relationship. You could literally just make up fake accounts and do this yourself but something tells me the people who pay for Facebook friends have trouble thinking. Or they feel doing it themselves is like, extra dishonest, like how it's OK to take cell phone pics of your date's boobs if she passes out on her own but not if you have to spike her drink.
This is the cyber-aged equivalent of telling your friends you have a girlfriend who is a model from two towns over and she's busy on a shoot in Fiji right now so they can't meet her. Also, does anyone say "cyber-aged" anymore? I used my Netscape to look it up on the Alta Vista and couldn't find anything. Ha ha ha, old references!
#1. Therapy Robots
Picture this: You're old. Oh my God, look how old you are. You're skin feels like onion paper wrapped around prosciutto. Stuff inside you pops when you stand and when you sit. You smell like Irish Spring and you don't even bathe with it and your whole body is covered in a fine, downy white fuzz except for your pubes, which are like tiny corkscrews carved from porcelain. So old. So old that you're just done. It's totally time to die. All your inside bits are crapping out on you. Lay yourself down, beautiful dreamer. Rest those sharp curlies. It's all growing dim.
But what's this? Where are your loved ones? You don't have any. Or maybe they just don't like you, which technically means they don't love you, so really you still don't have any loved ones. You're alone. What's to happen now? Who can shepherd you into the great unknown? Who will rifle through your drawers for change in 10 minutes? No one?
No. Not no one. Someone. Who isn't a someone, but a something. The Last Moment Robot, a cold and sterile friend to rub you as you die. OK, it's not really a real thing. It's more of an art project, but it was inspired by a real thing -- the Paro Therapeutic Robot. It's a robotic seal. It's for the insane and elderly and enfeebled. Basically it's a therapy animal without the hassle of having to deal with a real, biological thing. So it's like saying "Hey, damaged human, I want you to feel better but not in a way that is inconvenient to the rest of us. Please use your time as a damaged, possibly dying individual, who may or may not have bowel control to bond with this synthetic thing, the only friend you have right now. You'd probably find this glorified Furby patronizing if you had all your faculties about you, but of course you don't. Look at the cute seal! Now quiet down."
I am programmed for maximum clubability
The Paro is a very real and actually pretty celebrated invention, while the Last Moment Robot is more of a social satire. But both represent the utter sadness of being a person alone, institutionalized and so desperate for a friend that something with an ass full of batteries is apparently another person's best guess at how to deal with the situation.
Are you bummed out now? Yay, comedy!
Check out more from Felix in The 5 Creepiest Things Ever Done With a Fake Medical Degree and The 6 Grossest Anti-Smoking Ads of All Time.