1. Peter Aiello Reply

    It’s not a technology problem; it is a human problem.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “Technology has become so invasive that more and more people are suffering debilitating loneliness.”
    I followed the links back and have come to the conclusion that the source material for the conclusions drawn here, is very thin and incomplete. It even appears that two different sets of unrelated age groups were surveyed, and then presented as if they were the same. I couldn’t find any original report or study, so who knows. It’s mostly opinion. The question is – who is suffering this loneliness? Is it older folks, who in decades and centuries past would have already passed on, or is it younger folks who are unable to get the jobs they want, and lack the funds to socialize in any other way? I could find no real details on what was being studied. Without that – it’s an opinion piece; not science.
    Is anyone asking these people who are using these services if they are actually happy with their lives? If these applications give them what they want out of life, then more power to them. I got the feeling from some of the interviews, that the users of these apps were satisfied with their lives. If so, what’s the problem? There’s no sex involved, so what does the Church care? It’s not part of their manic obsession. Or maybe the problem is that they are waiting too long to pump out the next generation of little Catholics and will have obtained critical thinking skills and life experiences by the time they do have kids, and they will know by then that religion is the problem, not the solution…
    If the users can afford $100/mo. for a virtual friend, then they are quite probably busy and successful, and have little time for dating. Perhaps other people who really are lonely would benefit from such programs? In our evolving world, it makes sense to try it and see what works and what doesn’t. Barring the long sought after Apocalypse that all three Abrahamic religions anxiously look forward to and seem determined to bring about, the technology is not going away, so let’s figure out how to use it to our benefit. Perhaps these virtual friend apps are therapeutic. It’s worth further study – real study – to learn more.

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