The late part of the twentieth century introduced with the internet, social networking. Suddenly it was possible to get the needed attention with a minimum of physical contacts.

However, sharing on the public place also meant becoming vulnerable. 

So by the mid-twenty-first century, after many got drag in the mud as their dirty little secrets got exposed, social media lost its appeal. But old habits don't vanish; they get switch by new ones. In the year 2054, the world swear by "IYM"! Like a genie in the bottle, the IYM chips allow people to interact with their imaginary friends.  Unlike the old social networking, this operation is very private. What happens in your mind stays in your head! 

For your eyes only, that artificial intelligence took the desired shape to suit their owner's needs. Occasional network linkup would update the chip, but no data transfer. This new marvel not only provides the company to lonely hearts but also helps to increase cognitive brain activities. People were getting brighter, and at the same time, even more disconnected from each other.