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Imaginary Friends

I’m quoting from the Scientific American article but changed some words. See if you can spot them.

New psychological research suggests that loneliness can be alleviated by simply logging on to your favorite social network. In the same way that a snack can satiate hunger in lieu of a meal, it seems that reading status updates can provide the experience of belonging without a true interpersonal interaction. For decades, psychologists have been interested in understanding how individuals achieve and maintain social relationships in order to ward off social isolation and loneliness.

The vast majority of this research has focused on relationships between real individuals interacting face-to-face. Recent research has widened this focus from real relationships to faux, “parasocial” relationships. Parasocial relationships are the kind of one sided pseudo-relationships we develop over time with people online. So, just as a friendship evolves through spending time together and sharing personal thoughts and opinions, parasocial relationships evolve by reading twitter updates and becoming involved with their personal lives, idiosyncrasies, and experiences as if they were those of a friend.

Be sure to read the original article to see what I did here.