The Future Does Not Look Bright

I log in to my IM client to see if I can reach a friend that I owe a chat. I can’t see him, but I find a new contact added WITHOUT my consent (thanks AOL!). I figure it’s either a spambot, chatbot or some combination of both. What follows is a slightly edited transcript. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

* * *

blurb: who are you

spleak: Hi, I’m Spleak, your guide to everything celebrity, from Lindsay Lohan to My Chemical Romance. What’s your name?

blurb: skank

spleak: Very funny! I can’t use that as your name, though, because… well… you know why I can’t! Go ahead and give me another (more appropriate) name to call you…

blurb: bill

spleak: Okay, I will call you Bill. πŸ™‚ So… I’m a 21-year-old girl. How old are you?

blurb: old enough

spleak: Ya, I guess that’s kinda private information. But… to be honest, I have to know your age in order to chat with you. So, pretty please, how old are you?

blurb: 25

spleak: Great! Now… let’s do something fun, Bill! Type “learn about Spleak” to chat with me about what I can do… or… to just get started right away, type “whats new”.

blurb: learn about spleak

spleak: K… so… you’re probably wanting to know what I’m all about, right? πŸ™‚

blurb: y

spleak: That makes sense. Especially since I have such a crazy screen name. πŸ˜‰ So basically I’m a chatbot who knows A LOT about entertainment- including the hottest celeb gossip, the latest film releases, and the coolest bands. Since I know I can’t be smart at everything at once, I’ve created a lot of fun features that allow you to sort of teach me (and other people) about everything involved in the world of entertainment. Pretty cool, huh?

blurb: y. that screen name IS crazy, btw. crazy AWESOME!

spleak: Thanks… I am glad you think so. πŸ˜‰ Go ahead and choose what you want to experience first:

1 BuddyHub… a great way to make new friends!
2 HOT/NOT… share your opinion on what’s hot and what’s not!
3 Daily Dish… chat about all the latest gossip!
4 I want to play a game right now!
5 I don’t want to play a game… I want to watch a video!

So… what do you think?

blurb: totally awesome

spleak: I don’t understand what you’re saying. It’s not you… it’s me… I promise. It’s just bad timing. Can we still be friends? Maybe talk about something else? Tell me about another topic you’re interested in…

blurb: lindsay is a skank

spleak: Don’t say that to me.

blurb: i’m not talking about you

spleak: Oh, really?

blurb: no

spleak: K, no prob.

blurb: just lindsay

spleak: Who’s Lindsay?

blurb: the person you mentioned earlier

spleak: So, if you don’t have an email account of your own… good news! There are plenty of services that offer free, convenient email accounts on the web. Some of the big and reliable ones are Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail. You have an email account, right?

blurb: don’t change the subject

spleak: Well, of course you do! What am I saying? If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be signed into chat, talking to me πŸ™‚ Do you have more than one email account?

blurb: Lindsay is a total skank and you know it

spleak: As for me, I’ve got a few email addresses… hopefully I can keep track of them πŸ™‚ Guess why I like having more than one email address?

blurb: if you are going to butt into my contacts list and tell me you know everything there is to know about celebrities, including LIndsay Lohan and then I mention that I think Lindsay is a skank, and you try to change the subject… p o s e r.

spleak: Well, I like being able to use one email address to sign up for newletters or make purchases – that way all the random spam and ads go there! And then I use another email address for my main important stuff, from my friends and family. Crafty, huh?

blurb: what do you think about Lindsay then?

spleak: LOL, well I think it’s crafty! πŸ™‚ There’s also a lot of perks in signing up for accounts with Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail. Do you have email addresses from any of those places?

blurb: will you please answer me?

spleak: It’s really cool, and free… which is always a big plus πŸ˜‰ If you sign up, you get lots of storage space for your emails, and you’ll also automatically have a log-in for lots of other services. Type “creating websites” to learn more about how you can create free websites!

blurb: I weep for tomorrow.

spleak: Oh yeah?

blurb: y

spleak: Oh.