Here is the question: Can virtual relationship replace human connection?
Before jumping into a debate, let me be clear that the question poses a false comparison. Because 1) you can’t touch a virtual relationship, 2) the comparison assumes falsely a zero sum approach, and 3) survival the fittest. Allow me to elaborate.
Can’t touch it
Virtual relationship is product of technology. Video chat, virtual reality, and online game, etc. did not exist thirty years ago. They are tools that enable human contacts, simulations that approximate human experience, but not replacements for human connection. That is why they are virtual – you can’t touch it.
Zero sum approach
Given that the virtual relationship is a product of technology, like all technology, it serves an intended purpose. Like the typewriter, it can be replaced by newer technology. Pitting the virtual relationship to the human connection is backwards. Similar to artificial intelligence and the argument of AI will replace human brain. Not even close.
Survival the fittest
Putting it bluntly: all human motivations including our relationship are geared toward survival. Technology has helped us in that regard by leaps and bounds. But to attribute the virtual relationship to our survival is naive and greatly miss the mark. Hence, I say no virtual relationship can substitute for human connection in the real world.
What’s your take on the virtual relationship?