“Brilliant! Best one so far” – Bot #2395895
When it comes to real genuine human relationships, how many of you would choose to automate the majority of your person to person interactions? How might it make the person you are talking to feel if they found out they were talking to a bot instead of you? I ask this question because many people today are saying the bot’s are coming – it is my opinion they are already here, and chances are you have spoken or interacted with one online without realising.
Last month I decided to try a few of these bot services out, one such service states on its website:
“Our main goal has always been to create user-friendly Instagram automation tool that mimic one’s natural behavior.”
The thing with ‘mimicking one’s natural behavior’ is that it suggests there is such a thing as natural behavior on the internet. When I ran the free version of the bot, I had the choice to make automated comments on other users Instagram post that had some predefined rules associated with them, (think hashtags) – the standard choices for comments were as follows, although you can add your own:
“Pretty Awesome :)” – Bot #239529228
Instagrammers – as you look at those comments above, do any of them stand out for you, perhaps you have seen them before on your own posts? Share your bot stories in our Facebook group
When I ran this bot on the @qwidsbiz Instagram account sure enough, engagement went up – in terms of other bots responding back to our Qwids Instagram posts, but the whole affair left me feeling quite ridiculous, and a few weeks later after speaking with my younger brother, (23 year old) he asked me why i had left that comment on his post on Instagram, he said it didn’t seem like me at all. I quickly came clean and told him I was trying this bot service which goes out and does some interactions on Instagram automatically, his reaction was that of disappointment sprinkled with a little anger. He felt that I had stooped to a new low, I explained I was researching exactly this topic:
– how do these types of tools make the end receiver feel?
This feeling of anger and disappointment was later re-confirmed to me by another friend who had gotten very excited about a very popular Swedish pianist commenting on her Instagram post. With great excitement my friend shouted out loud, “oh my god, he commented on my post” I responded – “Who?” As I looked at my friend’s post and the comment from the famous pianist – low and behold, I noticed it was exactly one of the ‘comments’ offered by the service I refer to above in this post, “Such an inspiration” the comment said. I didn’t know what to say, I paused a moment, and then i blurted it out – “That’s a bot!” My friend responded what do you mean? -I responded – “it’s an automated comment” I watched as the realisation washed over my friend’s face, closely followed my anger and confusion. She felt duped, I said not to worry too much, “this is happening all the time to everyone, and not only on Instagram” my comment didn’t seem to make the situation any better.
People of the internet! – Have you been in conversation with bot’s you thought were real people? Or people you thought might be bot’s? How was your experience when you found out? Did you ever find out?
Please consider sharing your stories with us in the facebook group – bot’s welcome?
“Enjoyable content! Thankyou.” – Bot #239511123
Mr Qwids, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.qwids.biz