at first the idea of an avatar was popular as an online liaison, ambassador, or brand representative like C3PO. They had little value, and were a courtesy that offered some usefulness, but mostly comic relief. But when the personal avatar became a digital mirror of a person, everything changed. Your digital self could be a reliable source of productivity due to AI science. Some people (who could afford it) created teams, families, and even vast armies of themselves, with some amazing results and many social tragedies.
Many people traded in spouses for socializing with the “invisible buddies”. Because they were reflections of your digital profile doped with quantum artificial intelligence thye could be great tools for learning about yourself and destructive tools for the narcissist.
Much like the obsession with social media in the oughties, people were indulging themselves with social AI, and had not yet returned to sanity.