Social networking has expanded beyond the mere Facebook page. Now, for people who hate to be involved the in the social networking arena of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and numerous blogs, RentaFriend.com provides social interactions, or rather, friendship at a price.
Scott Rosenbaum monetized a new formula for social networking websites, where people can work as independent contractors who function as friends meeting with individuals who pay them for their friendship and time. Buyers can purchase the time of contractors, also known as friends, with prices starting at $10 per hour, but also negotiable rates.
Contrary to belief, RentAfriend.com advertises that is not an escort site or a dating site. Alternatively, RentAfriend.com satisfies people’s need to connect in person and to interact with each other, while other social networking sites tend to increase community interaction with status updates and picture posting.
Users can view profiles of potential friends for free, but they have to pay membership fees to join rentafriend, prior to hiring any of the friends featured in their local area. A user can find friends simply by entering in his or her zip code.
Monthly membership to RentAfriend.com costs $24.95, and yearly membership costs $69.95. After joining rentafriend.com, a user can contact a friend through online private messaging and phone calls that the friend for hire posts.
According to RentAfriend.com, people often use friends for hire to participate in group related activities such as bowling, photography, prom dates, clubbing, and even being shown around when relocating to new cities. Although critics may shun the idea of purchasing a friend for his or her time, rentafriend.com currently consists of at least 220, 000 members and it is still growing.
Another advantage to RentAfriend.com aside from providing supplemental income to the friends for hire and the opportunity to meet new people, is that the service exists on a global scale, with heavy reliance from Asian countries and most recently, Great Britain.
Skeptics criticize RentAfriend.com for promoting the message that friendship is something that can be bought or sold, instead of earned and built through the gradual evolution and growth of relationships by way of social interaction. Proponents say that the technology of RentAfriend.com fills a multitude of unmet needs with added convenience, such the visitation of elderly relatives in nursing homes, the inspection of babysitters, and even the motivation from a workout partner, all of which are services that can be purchased with friend ‘rentals.’
Security concerns serve as a major dissuader from using RentAfriend.com services, although the social site provides numerous privacy protective features. Nonetheless, RentAfriend.com fails to protect a person’s anonymity, like other social networking sites.
Moreover, RentAfriend.com will not perform mental health evaluations on any of its participants. Consequently, people have no way of knowing about the mental stability of the person whose friendship they rent for higher, or the person who pays for their friendship.
Of course, if you have a lot of friends who share a great deal of their time with you, these issues perhaps may appear trivial, and even desperate in some ways. Nonetheless, as live social interactions decrease with every technological advancement, RentAfriend.com may become more necessary to keep people connected.
In the meantime, hopefully your friends will never decide to one day charge you for their friendship and vice versa.
Angela Wang. ” Rent a Friend, Don’t Just Make a Friend.” The Epoch Times.
Andrew Moran. ” Need a friend? Now you can ‘rent a friend’ for $10 per hour,” Digital Journal.
Claire Prentice. ” Is a rented friend a real friend?” BBC News Magazine.
Leanne Italie. ” Feeling Lonely? Rent a friend,” MSNBC.com.