Most important sentence to take action on in this article, IMO.
> But perhaps we fool ourselves in thinking our desires for love, comfort, and belonging can be sated with an inanimate object.
No, not perhaps, I think it can be phrased more strongly (at least, speaking for myself). I believe this to be true as I have cross-checked these type of YouTube experiences with real-life experience, looked at the similarities and differences. It's then easy to see that the YouTube thing is an illusion. The real thing is much better. With YouTube I feel soothed. With my significant other, all of my existential crises are gone and I feel soothed. Yes, it includes fights, but feeling part of a soul-mated team who support each other is totally worth it (I don't believe in soul mates, but I can still feel that way).
> The whole point of boyfriend videos—and of ASMR, mukbang, and the rest—is to create a one-way interaction from creator to silent consumer.
This is the case with all YouTube shows even that have a personable approach. I think the problem is much bigger than this article portrays (see also an earlier comment on it that I made).