Today, we live in a world where everything is digital and technology bound. There was a time when computers were considered a luxury but today computers are a necessity and their usage has increased manifold. The popularity and demand of computers and smart phones is due to the presence of one concept called the ‘internet’. Internet is referred to as the World Wide Web and it surely is a cobweb having many dimensions. One can accomplish just any possible task on the internet from buying vegetables to selling car and from finding friends to falling in love. Yes, this technology has given us an opportunity to be part of a virtual world and getting into a relationship that we’ve always desired to have.
The present generation or what we call the youth today is tech-savvy and internet is an integral part of their lives. In fact it won’t be exaggerating to say that their lives are incomplete without this very basic concept of digitization. However, the seniors and the middle-aged people that haven’t been born in this era of 21st century do find this younger generation’s love for digital media a little bizarre. No matter what people feel and say, the truth is that one can’t really imagine their existence in the absence of digitization and this is the reason why few people have started seeing technology and digital world as their potential partners.
Relationships are most fundamental to a human’s existence, after all man is a social animal and the feeling of love and commitment make him complete and contented. However with a passage of time, people have started viewing emotional and physical relationships with real people as complicated and less fulfilling. The so called with-in-the flesh relationships and the ones involving real sexual activities are no more desirable and this is the reason why they have diverted their attention to the virtual world for finding love. In order to justify this change of mind, various surveys have been conducted in Japan in the year 2008 and 2010. According to this survey in 2008, 17.5% of the boys aged between 16-19 years showed no interest in sex with a real person and this percentage nearly doubled when the same survey was conducted in the year 2010. The same kinds of results were noticed in the males aged between 20-24 years. Even the females belonging to both the age-groups showed aversion to sexual relationships with real men.
The astonishing numbers found in this survey clearly points towards one thing that real sex and relationships no longer hold a special interest in the lives of people. An important point to note here is that Japan has a tech-savvy population and the number of virtual relationships is on a high in this place. The people surveyed gave a lot of reasons why they averted from real-sex and why they preferred an online or virtual partner. The first and foremost reason for this change in preference is the unpleasantness and complications caused by real sex. The second reason of such change could be attributed to the fact that most of the men masturbated and fulfilled their sexual desires while watching porn that made them sexually satisfied. The fact that online sexual activities are a great fun and less complicated than the real ones is why people have started preferring it.
Finding an online or a virtual partner is one thing but falling in love with a digitally created personality is another. If you are a movie buff, than you must remember the much applauded movie of last year ‘HER’ where a sad and depressed man named Theodore, falls in love with the OS1- an artificially intelligent operating system. Actually he falls for the voice of Samantha, the artificially created character used to voice OS1. The level of personal interaction between the OS and Theodore increases with a passage of time and both the guy and the conscious voice behind OS fall for each other. The concept may sound ‘Bizarre’ to many people out there but this movie presented reality in the most genuine manner.
Today, we are surrounded by technology and digital gadgets more than anything else and thus technology and gadgets is already our biggest companion. But for a few people, these companions become their reason for happiness. The people falling in love just like Theodore have just one simple explanation to give that if reality is painful and sad than why not use technology for happiness. The fact that one can’t find their perfect mate in real life gives them the best reason to find one in the virtual world. This is the reason why the craze for robotic partners is on a rise these days and in fact in Japan, the concept of being in relationship with virtual avatars of girlfriends and boyfriends is extremely popular. In fact in a recent incident, a man committed and traditionally married her avatar of perfect girlfriend that he himself created on an online dating game called Love Plus.
All the facts and incidents stated above points towards just one thing that virtual relationships are popular and more and more people want to get involved with virtual partners. The increasing popularity of virtual relationships can be very much satisfied by creation of robotic partners that have all the attributes of one’s soul mate. The robots present today are capable of washing one’s hair, serving tea and food, interacting with children and even communicate with you as real partners. However in order to make them more humanly, still much of work is required and you never know, you might fall in love with a pretty and intelligent girl who’s actually a robot!
Digital interactions and relationships is a reality, which may be bitter for some and sweet for the others. People may divert their attention to virtual relationships for a healthy and long-lasting relationship but the truth is that humanity doesn’t work with virtual world and physical intimacy with real people is a hard-core fact that can’t be challenged as of now. About the future, only time will tell!
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