As the digital age makes people more lonely, Chuck McCarthy created a service to stroll with strangers and became Los Angeles's first people walker.
McCarthy walks humans for $7 a mile around the streets and park near his home, walking, talking and, above all, listening.
The idea initially struck the underemployed actor several months ago as a joke, an imaginary way to make extra cash, until it became real.
"The more I thought about it, the less crazy it seemed," said McCarthy.
According to McCarthy, paying to be walked does not mean people are friendless. It just means they cannot always coordinate leisure time with friends, a product of fluid schedules in the gig economy, leaving them isolated.
"We're on phones and computers constantly communicating but we're not connecting as much. We need that human interaction," he said.