Future College Roommate Is a Robot
A Satirical Article By RACHEL HOFFMAN and LAUREN GOLDSTEIN
Like any other college-bound senior, Sammi Stanberg was excited to begin her search for a new life-long best friend: the perfect college roommate. Stanberg had heard countless horror stories from friends who had chosen to be randomly assigned a roommate by their university’s housing committee, so upon her decision to attend the University of Michigan, she knew that pre-selecting a roommate was the right choice for her. “I wanted a roommate just like myself, but I also wanted to avoid rooming with my best friend’s camp friend’s cousin from Livingston, New Jersey,” Stanberg said.
Stanberg’s first stop in her search was the Facebook page that the University of Michigan had set up for admitted students. She wanted to avoid “those weirdos” who post multiple-paragraph biographies about themselves, listing their allergies and detailing their love for their pet birds, so she decided to spend 35 straight hours scrolling through the 60,000 members of the group, searching for normal girls. Stanberg had narrowed her search down to three girls, sent these girls friend requests, and then proceeded to “backstalk” them to determine if they were really as normal as she initially thought. This filter narrowed her options to two girls. “I thought this girl named Ally Kramer looked normal, but then I saw a picture of her eating a carrot in February 2007…. and I HATE carrots. That’s how I knew we would never be able to be friends, let alone roommates,” Stanberg said.
For the next week, Stanberg’s iPhone was glued to her hand, and she religiously checked her Facebook inbox every two minutes to ensure that the message she sent to Melissa Goldbot from Highland Park, Illinois had not been read and ignored. Finally, on January 21, 2014, Stanberg was thrilled
to see that she had received a response from Goldbot. “We just like, clicked, you know?” said Stanberg, “We talked about everything from how much we despise orange-colored foods, to our mutual love of Breaking Bad.” After being in constant contact for a grand total of 36 hours, Stanberg popped the question – she asked Goldbot to be her roommate. She said, “I knew she lived too far away for us to meet before school started, but it was impossible for me to find someone with whom I’m more compatible, so we just decided to make up our minds and be roommates.”
Stanberg spoke to Goldbot through Facebook Messenger multiple times a day. “I thought it was a little strange that she never gave me her phone number or wanted to FaceTime, but I just assumed she would be a perfect roommate anyway because she fit all my original criteria,” Stanberg said. By the last week in March, Stanberg decided it was time for her and Goldbot to submit their housing application form to ensure that they would have first dibs on the dorm assignments. However, when Stanberg attempted to input Goldbot’s name as her desired roommate, the university’s online housing system rejected her proposal on the grounds that “Melissa Goldbot” was not a registered incoming freshman. University of Michigan staff has since reported that Goldbot was a computer generated personality created by their Office of Undergraduate Admissions to monitor and report on student activity in their Facebook group.