Park Seo-yeon lays a Korean feast in front of her computer. Then she turns on the video camera, she eats, and thousands of viewers watch her.
This is the latest fad in South Korea: gastronomic voyeurism in a country with one of the best Internet connectivities in the world.
Park, known as "The Diva," broadcasts herself eating in her apartment for up to three hours every day. Viewers can chat with her or send virtual balloons that translate into cash.
People enjoy the vicarious pleasure with my online show when they can't eat that much, or don't want to eat food at night, or are on a diet.
She earns more than 9,000 U.S. dollars a month doing this and has quit her job at a consulting firm.
There are about 3,500 people in South Korea doing such online programs—some sponsored by restaurants. Some say it makes eating alone feel less awkward.
It feels as if I'm eating that much food with her. I think that's what the show is about. And probably, it's comforting for people who eat alone.
In South Korea, one-person households could comprise one-third of the population in 15 years, the fastest rate among developed countries.