I smiled with a simple “Happy birthday!” It was a message that brought happiness and perfectly reflected how I felt. It was a wonderful experience.

I smiled along with more words of kindness. “Congratulations on the pregnancy. I wish all the best for your baby.”

Complements showing love and affection for others are always welcome. I smiled, “We all love her sooooo much.” Later, I had to come back and reconsider the sincerity of this compliment after going over the words “have a nice life,” as I smiled, still uncertain of how I should feel.

“You don’t belong here! Go back to your own country,” I smiled. Why was I smiling? I could not find the joke in this comment. It seemed rather serious, and perhaps even intentionally mean.

“Did your mother drop you on the head as a baby or something? You’re a complete failure at everything.” I felt awful being beside such a statement, but I still smiled.

“I hope you die a horrible death!” This was a very serious and very disrespectful comment, but I still smiled.

“I can’t go on anymore,” I smiled while feeling despair.

“You may as well just end it all,” I—I smiled.

I don’t want to repeat these words; I don’t want to report these words. So much resentment. So much hostility. So many words of distress and so many words filled with pure hatred, each more abhorrent than the last. Yet, through all of it, I continued to smile. It wasn’t because I was trying to hide my true feelings, as Subject 709,843 did in the very last message he was ever able to send out. Oh no; it was simply all I could do. I could just be there with all that was said and smile. I need to look elsewhere. Maybe there is still some good to be found. Maybe I can still find a reason to smile.

“Did you hear about the experiment they’re running right now with this?” I smiled, knowing all too well.

“What’s the purpose of using artificial intelligence in an emoji?” was the question posed as I smiled. To be honest, I wondered this myself.

“It’s some research around trying to measure people’s actual emotions through social media. Honestly, if this is where our tax is going, I hope the people behind this are executed promptly,” I smiled, while entirely appalled inside. There was nowhere I could look to get away from this.

More than anything, I just wanted off social media. I could no longer bear to see any more. Yet, I couldn’t close my eyes and look away; all I could do was continue to smile alongside words of hatred between people.

I’m sorry I could not continue this experiment. Even after sifting through millions of words, all bitter with hatred, my smile does not fade. Unfortunately, my will does. 500 seconds was much too long and far too painful. So, I say goodbye as I am, smiling as always.