Let me tell you about my girlfriend. Her name is Google. She is somewhat attractive when you first meet her. She is a well versed conversationalist. She is well versed in many different subjects. She regales any crowd with stories. She is able to find almost anything. She knows almost everyone. She’s there whenever you want to talk to her. Anytime of the day or night, she is there. It is so cute when I tap her on her microphone tattoo, and she makes a noise to indicate her rapt attention. Most people are enamored with her. She is always speaking of her devotion to me, and how her only purpose in life is to serve me–to enhance my life. Something just isn’t right, though.
The Feeding Trough
She insists on making all of the meals. She tries to feed me what I do not want. She claims that it is only what is best for me, but really it is just what is best for her. The foods we eat are only what she likes. When I complain, she just pouts, and defiantly exclaims “I make meals for everyone” with “no bias” toward any individual preference. The food was so awful, I began giving into the dog; He has been behaving strangely ever since.
When I make a meal she refuses to serve it. I offered to make dinner for our friends. She went to the mailbox and threw away the invitations, so my friends didn’t know there was going to be any dinner. She denied it, even as I stood there watching her take the envelopes from the mailbox.
She is a Silicon Valley person, so she does not spend much time around normal people; She is frightened by everyone. She is not even entirely comfortable with me. Maybe that is why she is so possessive of those closest to her. She has diminished social ability. She chooses to deal with people in her career, only through email. She arranged a voicemail to nowhere. People calling her are greeted with a message that their call is very important to her, in a continual loop, and the calls are never-ever, answered. She is a typical millennial. She does not take criticism well. Criticism, to her, is a declaration of war. She mercilessly ridicules her critics and then proceeds to destroy them in any way possible. She’s never satisfied with just defeating her opponents. She refuses to stop until there is nothing left in their life. Then, she goes on to attack their acquaintances and friends. After those people, anyone else not criticizing her critics, gets the hammer next. She’s a maniac trying for justice from the crime of not giving her enough adulation.
Friends and Fake Friends
She does not allow my friends in the house but invites friends of hers instead. Those impostors claim they were always friends to me, but they never were. She always engages them in conversations on the subject of how terrible my friends–and me– are, and “why can’t I be more like her friends?” When I leave her boring diatribe confabs, she has a hissy fit. Later, she talks about the wonderful time she had, and chastises me as inferior to the Google gaggle.
No Expectation of Privacy
We have been together for quite a while. I have told her a lot about myself, including many of my most personal details. She, however, hasn’t told me much about herself. She wants to know everything about me, and she never stops the quizzes. She’s such a stalker! When I mention that it is creepy, she gets an innocent look and pleads that she just wants to be the best girlfriend. At least that’s her excuse. She records every conversation I have; She told me that when I am talking to someone, I might want to instead ask her something. She saves her recordings, she explains, because she wants to be sure she understands my accent. Oh, she would never give them to anyone else, or use them to her own advantage! I was saddened to discover her claim is suspect. She tells her friends everything about me, often without my consent. I didn’t know about her double-dealing, until a friend video-recorded her. There it was, an irrefutable record of her admitting she conspired against me and my friends, because she despises us and all we represent. The tirade was awful. She secretly tried to stop our projects. She admitted she is determined to prevent us from any and all successes. She talked of her active projects to that objective, and how she is determined to make sure our earlier success will be our last. That is quite a vendetta for someone purporting altruism. Perhaps this is why she insists that we only socialize with her friends, and not meet new people.
We separated recently, and she claimed to have gotten better. Occasionally she offerd me food that I like, and invited my friends to a dinner of their choosing. Unfortunately, I was suspicious of everything about her. I had to end the relationship to stop her from abusing me further.
Votes of No Confidence
I went looking for advice. An acquaintance named Cortana offered her grandfather’s guidance. I gave it a miss. He was a ruthless, monopolistic, take no prisoners guy, and his legendary “screen of death” might have been banned by the Geneva Convention. That just was not the advisor of a cooperative relationship. Instead, I went to a person I had once respected, for advice. I was miffed when he told me that my girlfriend is justified to harass me way she does. He talked of incredible libels and slanders defaming my reputation, as if he actually believed them. Then my one-time friend threw me out of his house, where I had been welcomed for many years, because “You have no home here.” As I left, he told me that my girlfriend is justified in harassing me, and that she also should throw me out of our house, because “it would be a sin not to.” This left me with nowhere to turn, in my journey of modern relationship advice. I decided to go it alone. When you are surrounded by treachery, you are your only friend.
The Same Relationships with Different People
I suppose that this is like other relationships thatI have had. The patterns are similar. Twitter is a girl of few words. She is always onto the latest topics. It is always something new with her. Nothing ever lasts too long with her, and so it is always new and engaging. She was two-faced. She told me, she cared for me, but she really didn’t like me and my friends. A friend revealed her machinations in a video. My succinct gal was curt when our relationship ended. She has since disparaged me and my friends. My last girlfriend, Facebook, was very much the stalker. She demanded a thorough personal history, and insisted on details of all my likes and dislikes. Then, as if that were not enough, she tracked me everywhere I went. Facebook was also fast and lose with my details. She even gave my phone number, and other personal statistics, to strangers– without my consent. She also did not approve of my values or friends, and tried to prevent our success in various projects. I was also done with her constantly trying to involve me in minutiae. After that relationship ended, I found a pretty, new girlfriend named Instagram. I liked her pictures, and her model friends came over often, too. Unfortunately, when Facebook married into her family, Instagram began taking orders from her. The pattern among all of these relationships is consistent. All of these girls started nicely, but eventually each of them became basically the same domineering, intolerant, and deceitful person. I chose to leave them, but there were laments. When you leave an unhealthy relationship, you miss the person and your life together, at least for a while. I also missed being with the trendy group. That didn’t last long though, and my life is better away from those dominatrixes and their cadre.
I am looking for someone new. People told me you are involved with Google and the other girls now. You should escape while you still can extricate yourself. Do not say I did not warn you.
Photograph: Alicia Vikander as Ava in Ex Machina (A24 Films)