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Virtual friends


On the boat
And South Korea starts the ball rolling to the end of human society - when your BFF is an app.

The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea - Lonely Teens Embrace Imaginary-Friend App
Lonely Teens Embrace Imaginary-Friend App
Virtual friends have become a fad among lonely or socially awkward adolescents. Over 4 million people have downloaded an app allowing users to chat with an imaginary friend on their mobile device.

App developer Jang Tae-gwan said 70 to 80 percent of people who downloaded the app are in their teens. The app was designed to send a long comforting response to sentences such as "I'm lonely" or "I'm depressed."

Psychologists say the app's popularity reflects the difficulties young people experience in establishing and maintaining relationship with real human beings.

In a survey by Seoul National University in February, 58.2 percent of middle schoolers said they have unstable relationship with classmates, and one out of five were at risk of being bullied.


On the boat
Saya: Big ambitions for Japanese 'digital daughter' - BBC News
Saya: Big ambitions for Japanese 'digital daughter'
Last year a new Japanese celebrity burst onto the scene. But "Saya" was a different kind of star, because she is the product of a Tokyo computer lab. And like all "parents", her creators have big ambitions for her, writes the BBC's Yvette Tan.

"'I think I've seen her somewhere' or 'She looks like someone I know' are what people usually say when they see Saya," says Yuka Ishikawa, one half of the husband and wife graphic artist team behind Saya.

When the couple first posted pictures of the hyper-realistic schoolgirl online last year, it was a revelation about what can be achieved with computer design.


Addicted Poster
Children have made up imaginary friends for a long time. I'm no psychologist, but I get the impression that this is fairly normal at least most of the time... but I don't think it's normal for teens. My teen years were no easier for me than for most people, and I fantasized sometimes (I still do), but a virtual BFF wouldn't have interested me.


Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Also, the app is likely cheaper than ingesting large amounts of alcoholic beverages to get the effect of seeing a virtual friend... ;)


grain of sand
Sometimes virtual friends can slope into 'real life' ... I am in England & have a pal I met on line who lives in Florida who snail mails me books he thinks I 'should' read ... the internet has made the world a much smaller place ...


Addicted Poster
I understand a bit what Neelsha means. It looks like good friendships are hard to find thiese days. And that sometimes that we use humans as we use things. Just throw away when something new and more exciting is comming your way.

When life gives you lemons, you really learn who sticks behind to make lemonade with you. Too often you discover that you have to do it alone.