June 25, 2018 | ° F

Digital girlfriends degrading to all

There are some things you just can't understand — Internet startup Cloud Girlfriend is one of those things. The company promises to help customers create the perfect girlfriend, and then they will take care of making her look real by giving her a presence on Facebook and other social media sites. So, that's what the world has come to in the digital age? Digital significant others? Unfortunately, this sort of thing may actually prove to be pretty popular — but really, there are absolutely no benefits to having a fake girlfriend on the Internet.

This is like the 21st century version of the mail-order bride, except, in some ways, even creepier and more degrading to women. Cloud Girlfriend offers users the ability to literally create a girlfriend. They put in the information regarding what constitutes their "perfect girlfriend," and the folks at Cloud Girlfriend create her. Many people argue that people's increasing dependency on online interactions is contributing to a decline in real-world interpersonal skills. This sort of service only makes things worse, as it allows users to circumvent all of the ups and downs of traditional relationships in favor of something fake, hollow and ultimately, unfulfilling. How much satisfaction can you really receive from a doctored love interest? We're willing to bet the answer is not much, if any at all.

Also, we find it a little distressing that this service only offers fake girlfriends — not fake boyfriends. To be clear, we'd rather see them offer neither, but the fact remains that the company exists and is providing a make-your-own girlfriend service. In only offering girlfriends, the service insinuates that female companions specifically are easy to slap together. People, no matter their gender, are complex, nuanced individuals. That's why we like having them around. Offering two-dimensional versions of them not only creates an unfulfilling "relationship," but also suggests that women aren't too complex to engineer successfully. We wouldn't hesitate to call it misogyny.

Some argue that having a fake girlfriend plowing around your social media accounts will spark other women to talk to you. This argument is invalid, because it operates on the backwards assumption that "women always want what they can't have." All things considered, Cloud Girlfriend is nothing but detrimental to people of all genders. Chances are, if you think the company's services are a good investment, you've got some problems that an Internet girlfriend are not going to fix.

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