We could all do with a friend who checks in regularly, offering up positive reinforcement and helping out when we’re feeling down. Hopefully your friendships provide you with some of that, but real friends aren’t robots designed to cheer us up without reciprocation.
If that’s something you’d like to have in your life, why not try an actual bot designed to cheer you up without reciprocation?
Yayfrens Bot is a “loving friend bot” created by game developers and storytellers Carolyn VanEseltine and Caelyn Sandel, with help from software developer Dani Church. It’s quite possibly the happiest bot on Twitter–it only wants to make its friends (or frens) a little happier and healthier.
If your only experience with a Twitter bot is the kind that offers to sell you followers, that might sound like a stretch. But those bots give the rest a bad name–plenty of others are designed to entertain or delight. I’m a fan of Two Headlines, for example, which merges headlines to occasionally come up with gems like, “Google Kills Desktop-Centric Picasa In Favor Of Bernie Sanders.” Magic Realism Bot is another fun one. It tweets out seeds of parodically magical stories like, “A circus performer discovers that the stars are under the control of a whale.”
But Yayfrens takes the crown for being too darn nice for words. It helps followers with self care:
Do you take medications? Make sure you don't miss them!
— Yayfrens Bot (@yayfrens) February 5, 2016
It affirms our worth:
I'm so proud of everything that my friends have done. That means you, by the way.
— Yayfrens Bot (@yayfrens) February 3, 2016
It even sends out personal messages from time to time. It’s just the friendliest little thing, and it doesn’t ask for anything in return. When Yayfrens Bot pops up in my feed, it always makes my day a little brighter.
Sure, it’s just a robot — a robot that real people created to make the world a slightly happier place. Nothing’s much cheerier than that.