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Is the illusion of love just as good as the real thing?

Internet dating, conceptual artwork.

In today’s Big Story podcast, it’s never been easier to go looking for love, but actually finding it is a different story. No matter how many dating apps exist, love will always be tricky and messy and sometimes exhausting. But what if there was a way to skip all that stuff?

Enter YouTube. Yes, YouTube. It’s home to an entire community of people offering the illusion of love through ASMR videos. It’s mostly just audio–usually of someone asking how your day was or what you’d like for dinner. Because it turns out, that’s the kind of mundane stuff we crave.

How have these videos become so popular? And what does that say about the increasingly lonely world we live in?

GUEST: Michael Harris, author, essayist. You can read Michael’s piece right here.

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.