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Synth-Etiquette Advice Column – Is My Synth a Helper, or a Crutch?


Dear Synthia,

My elderly uncle is recovering from major heart surgery. But now he’s refusing to give up the Synthetic helper that’s been looking after him for the last few months, calling it his “friend.” Should I be worried he’s become too dependent on it?

–Concerned in Concord

Dear Concerned,

I hear this a lot – are we becoming too reliant on “them”?

Everyone has their own take on this. But what I think is, no matter how independent we imagine ourselves, we all need to lean on someone every now and again. And that’s what your uncle’s Synth provides. The Synth isn’t going anywhere. It’s not going to mess up his meds. Or get drunk and not show up to work. Or lose patience and smack him. Not. Gonna. Happen. Okay, it doesn’t have feelings. Neither does the threadbare quilt my grandmother knitted me when I was eleven, but I love that more than I do most people. And when Mr. Synthia’s pet iguana died a few years back, he cried for a week. Emotion doesn’t have to be reciprocated for it to be real and meaningful.

So you tell your uncle: lean away. If you can depend on someone or something one hundred percent – then where’s the harm in depending? Because his Synth won’t leave until you tell it to. Or until you can’t make the payments. But I don’t dispense financial advice in these hallowed pages. 🙂

– Synthia

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