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Smartphone Oracles: Guidance 2.0?

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Humans have always sought guidance from a higher power or external advice to find their path and make the right decisions. In the past, people turned to religion, fortune-telling, or personal development, but today a new trend is emerging: guidance oracles available directly on our smartphones. But is this really a credible and healthy alternative? Let’s explore.

The Principle of Smartphone Oracles

The concept is straightforward: mobile apps that, sometimes for a fee, allow users to ask a question of the “oracle” and receive an answer. The questions can cover all areas of everyday life: love, work, money, health, personal development, etc. The user formulates their question, sends it, and quickly receives a message intended to guide them, in the form of virtual card readings, numerology, or automated astrological interpretations.

Some oracles operate with artificial intelligence generating automatic responses based on the analysis of the sent text. Others connect users with real Cartomancers who respond individually. In any case, the goal is the same: to quickly and simply get external insight into a personal situation.

A Booming Market

The market for oracle applications is growing. According to AppAnnie, downloads of fortune-telling/guidance apps have quadrupled between 2018 and 2021. The instant and playful nature of these services is particularly popular with the hyper-connected younger generations. Popular apps like HorosCope or Padre have millions of downloads.

Some people consult these oracles occasionally, as entertainment. But for others, it has become a daily reflex to turn to these apps for every decision, no matter how trivial. Developers understand this and encourage consumption with offers like “10 readings for the price of 5”. A friend told me they consulted the oracle Padre for frivolous questions like, “Should I wear red or blue socks today?”

Where Does the App Messaj Fit In?

Messaj is primarily about daily guidance. The card responses are there first to question the user on their problems and queries, providing keys to finding answers.

A Healthy Alternative to Traditional Fortune-Telling?

Some see it as a healthy and modern alternative to traditional fortune-telling. Gone are the endless and expensive appointments with a medium, and the sometimes gloomy or mysterious aspect of some fortune-telling offices. With mobile oracles, advice is accessible in a few clicks, anytime and anywhere. No need to travel, and there’s a depersonalized relationship with an AI or a stranger behind a screen, which can reassure those wary of the classic fortune-telling world.

On the other hand, the instant and dematerialized nature of these services raises questions. Shouldn’t fortune-telling rely on a real human exchange, listening, and empathy that are impossible with AI? Isn’t there a risk of developing an unhealthy dependence by having a “virtual advisor” available 24/7? And what about the reliability of automatically generated responses? Of course, there’s no obligation to follow these virtual predictions to the letter. However, vulnerable people may give them excessive importance.

Towards More Responsibility?

Some personal development experts warn about the potential pitfalls of mobile oracles: addiction, confusion between sound advice and definitive prediction… But others also see potential in empowering users. A virtual oracle should not dictate a course of action authoritatively. Instead, its role should be to enlighten users to help them make their own decisions more serenely.

In summary, smartphone guidance oracles are an intriguing innovation that still needs to find its place. Neither good nor bad in themselves, they can, for the informed user, be a breath of fresh air to better understand themselves. However, if considered absolute truth, they risk leading to regrettable loss of autonomy. As often, the key lies in thoughtful and moderate use!

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