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‘I Rented a Friend to See If I Could Cure My Loneliness’ (article)

Dec 2, 2017
4,639
Kay and I agree on everything: how fit Jake Gyllenhaal is, how soothing Liverpudlian accents are, how we are obviously not going to give the museum a voluntary donation. Being with her is easy, like sinking into a bubble bath or stealing a boy's well-worn Reebok jumper after a night out. It's easy to forget that Kay is actually getting paid to be here – £20-an-hour, just to pretend she cares about me. She's very good at it.
I found Kay on rentafriend.com, a website where, for a $24.95 (£19.25) monthly fee, you can pick someone to hangout with from a database of 621,585 people. The site was set up in 2009 after CEO Scott Rosenbaum found himself wondering why there were so many dating websites, but none for platonic relationships.
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/59x9g5/i-rented-a-friend-to-see-if-i-could-cure-my-loneliness


The entire article is quite interesting, but I really don’t like the idea of it. Mainly cos as the author points out, as much as they might profess to like you, the whole thing would essentially feel artificial and hollow. Think I’d end up feeling even more lonely honestly.
 

Rassilon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,603
UK
This reminds me of the rent-a-sister thing they do in Japan to help antisocial blokes leave their rooms.

It’s a good idea, assuming there’s sufficient support in place to help the truely lonely find natural friendships and social groups.

I can imagine that some might perceive this sort of service as leeching off emotionally vulnerable folk.
 

AYZON

Member
Oct 29, 2017
389
Germany
I guess it would be nice as long as those people are around but once they leave and you start sitting around alone again you will probably feel really bad with the only thing to look forward to is paying again.

Idk, it seems good but im not sure if it actually helps all that much.
 

Buzzman

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,255
I found Kay on rentafriend.com, a website where, for a $24.95 (£19.25) monthly fee, you can pick someone to hangout with from a database of 621,585 people. The site was set up in 2009 after CEO Scott Rosenbaum found himself wondering why there were so many dating websites, but none for platonic relationships.
I think he's kind of missing the point here? Paying to be with someone is usually not called "dating".
Of course I would think that "escort services" are more emotionally hollow as these people don't actually want to be with you.
 

Astrael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
66
Berkeley, CA
After encountering several "friends" in life that only hung around to mooch money/food/entertainment, and were pretty hostile about it, I find no fault in someone being paid to hang out with you and at least pretend to enjoy the company. Maybe it seems sad but at least it's up front about what it is.
 

Qikz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,485
Paying a monthly fee for friendship...

I mean, if you think about it if you buy each other dinner and what not you're already paying a monthly fee right? Indirectly but if they act the same as a real friend would do its better than not having anyone at all.
 

yepyepyep

Member
Oct 25, 2017
579
I mean, if you think about it if you buy each other dinner and what not you're already paying a monthly fee right? Indirectly but if they act the same as a real friend would do its better than not having anyone at all.
I wouldn't put paying monthly for each person's dinner in my definition of friendship lol. It's also ignoring the fact that once you stop paying them they are not going to see you.
 

Coyote Starrk

The Fallen
Oct 30, 2017
16,132
DFW, Texas
So long as everyone involved is a consenting adult and nothing illegal is taking place then I could really care less what people spend their money on.


Also if this helps people then that is a bonus.
 

Wackamole

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,123
It would be great for lonely old people, for free.
It could become weird real fast though, for some people. I've seen friends fall in love with strippers thinking they got personal attention, lol.
One of the inevitable questions will be: "would you get along with me without the money?" "Sure". "So we can be just friends now?" "Ehhh, no".

But hey, could work for some.
 

Chaos2Frozen

Member
Nov 3, 2017
8,651
Think about it- do your friends really like you, Or are they just waiting to sacrifice you to the God Hand?
 

Jie Li

Member
Dec 21, 2018
383
I was horrified by the title but 25 bux a month + hour fee is pretty cheap to have some one to talk to. Sometimes you just need to get something out of the chest. Human are social animal.


It's like baby therapy.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,231
The Ocean
Paying a monthly fee for friendship...

For some people loneliness is a real problem that has a large impact on mental health. Often it comes from sources such as medical issues, or being discriminated against in some way. If this helps people cope and exist in the world I’m all for that.

Hardly worthy of a pithy meme.
 

Airegin

Member
Dec 10, 2017
1,868
I was horrified by the title but 25 bux a month + hour fee is pretty cheap to have some one to talk to. Sometimes you just need to get something out of the chest. Human are social animal.

It's like baby therapy.
The hourly fee is also $25 which is far from cheap.
 

Jie Li

Member
Dec 21, 2018
383
The hourly fee is also $25 which is far from cheap.
Like I say, therapy but cheap.

I think you just need to go thru a few "sessions" and then you will figure out how to do it for free on reddit or whatever. It's like practicing human interaction with no pressure.
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,568
Ha. Sounds like a fun way to get some free activities/food in. (For the "friends" I mean).
 

storaføtter

Member
Oct 26, 2017
383
I would like to offer my “friendship”, about time to get paid for behaving friendly! Didn’t know they had such services for Europeans. Always thought was more of a Japanese society niche.
 

Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,351
bork land
can i pay someone to be my nemesis?

or do i just have to say that i thought the film Speed Racer wasn’t very good?
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,568
can i pay someone to be my nemesis?

or do i just have to say that i thought the film Speed Racer wasn’t very good?
Personally I just go with Avatar the last Airbender was my favourite film. That will be sure to gain you an adversary.
 

Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,351
bork land
For 100$ a week I will stalk you on this forum and disagree with everything you post.
see, now that’s a competitive price point

but i want a nemesis that I have to chase after, one that drives me to one-up them in every way

like a Trojita but not humble
 

sangreal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,091
Yeah no shit escorts are emotionally unfulfilling. She should try a strip club next and marvel at how she quickly she somehow connects with all the workers
 

gozu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,826
America
This is sad.

It represents a failure of society. The whole point of friends is that they care about you, not your money.
 

Flipyap

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,206
Paying a monthly fee for friendship...
The monthly fee is just for access to the mail-order friend catalogue. Your friendlitute charges by the hour.

"RentAFriend.com membership is only $24.95 and you can then contact any of the Friends directly, saving time and money. Best of all, many friends charge as little as $10 an hour and a lot of the Friends are looking to make a long term friendship as well as willing to waive their fees depending on the activity. "

This has such a capitalist dystopia vibe, it's making me miss the good ol' days when it seemed like we would just be hunting each other for sport.

I know right, lonely, depressed people looking for non-medical solutions for their borderline suicidal thoughts and feelings... ewww!! so cringe!!
This is more about opportunistic assholes trying to make money off the backs of those lonely, depressed people. It's not just "cringe," it's fucking grotesque.
It's also not a solution, at absolute best it's a stopgap with a real chance of worsening those issues in the long run.
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,568
I'll rent someone to play videogames with me
What kind of games are we talking about?

Also I'm not even ashamed to admit it. I streamed video games at my low point, to find friends to play video games with. I still play with some people I met on Twitch to this day lol.
 

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,875
Befriending schemes are similar but probably not as lucrative or open to abuse. This rent-a-friend service better have supervision and regulations.