BREAKING NEWS over at Mashable:Japanese students invent a ‘girlfriend coat’ that simulates the feeling of being hugged from behind – it even whispers quotes in your ear like “Sorry I’m late”. The actual name for the coat is “Riajyuu” which derives from the slang meaning “someone who is pleased with their life outside the Internet,”.
I don’t know whether this is a depressing thing or a tale of things to come really. If you were to look past your initial reaction and consider both psychological and cultural adaptations in recent years, the true essence of how a burgeoning % of relationships are now developed online only seems a hop, skip and a twirl from this concept. Whether its through online dating or ‘Rent a friend’ – all these ideas could only come to pass by running alongside a society’s need or lacking thereof.
There has been various articles documenting the psychological repercussions of wholly living one’s life online and the constant and burgeoning use of technology overall, so does this ‘coat’ really surprise you? I don’t know, am i rambling? I feel like I’m rambling or toying with Pandora’s box here, I mean there was even an article where a dad had to hire an virtual hitman to kill his son’s avatar so he would get a job!!! We now have technology rehabs, people having affairs online, people selling their lives online, remote controlled lovers, sex robots and so much more branches that I couldn’t even begin to fathom. So i guess what I’m trying to say is no, I don’t think the invention of this ‘girlfriend coat’ is far fetched, its just sad that it has arrived so soon.
Whilst you’re waddling through that emotional fog, why not try and take a ganders at Sherry Turkle’s talk on TED ,where she discusses how relationships are now being framed and dissected by the use of technology. A very much hackneyed subject though still interesting.