One of the sad realities of offering live chat is how lonely people are and how that leads some into poor choices. We unfortunately talk regularly with people trying to recover from one-night stands and online hookups. Some come wanting to talk about sexual things and exchange photos to fill some broken need.
People are desperate and looking for connection. They seek companionship in the wrong ways and have a lack of healthy relationships in their lives. I am not breaking news with this analysis, but people keep looking in darker and darker places for the most basic human need – connection with another person.
You are probably not surprised to hear that this is growing darker. Now we see Artificial intelligence getting into this area and taking it to even further depths. There are a growing number of advertisements for “customized girlfriends” across social media sites like Instagram and TikTok. You might think this is weird and some small niche market, but there are a growing number of companies using AI to create virtual partners and chatbots that can send sexual photos and having explicit conversations.
Replika was a company originally founded as a chatbot service offering emotional and mental health support. They have changed their focus and are now advertising “spicy selfies” and hot role play. They invite users to create their dream companion and promise a girl that will exceed your wildest desires. The app also offers voice calls with your virtual partner and it has been downloaded more than 20 million times.
A growing number of creators of virtual relationships claim to let users choose the “perfect face and body” while customizing the personality who will be judgment-free and “always on your side”. This is just another form of digital pornography and shows the desperation of so many. Those subscribing to these services are lost and spiraling further from real human intimacy.
The restlessness and impatience of a lonely culture keeps leading people down dark alleys. As we talk with those let down by these digital connections, we know that real relationship with another human is not something that can be simulated. There are no hugs, conversation over a shared meal, or long walks holding hands with your digital mate. May those alone, and desperately looking for relationship, realize that Jesus is the one relationship that will last for eternity.