Need a Friend? There's an Online Service for That!

Posted -

If you need a friend, there’s a website for that, and some resourceful students are choosing to rent themselves out to be your BFF for a day.
 
The website RentAFriend.com allows users to post profiles with pictures and what activities they’re up for. The site advertises as a strictly platonic agency. That’s right – no sugar daddies or ‘escort’ services here.
 
The going rate for most people on the website is $10 an hour. Ideas include renting a friend to show someone around a new city, to have someone to workout with, or even have someone to unload personal problems on for advice.

 
Purchase student Liz Rowland tried out the service as a rentable amigo. She was driven to it through desperation.
 
“I had no money. Like, none,” Rowland said. “And one of my suitemates did it for a while and she said it was cool.” So Rowland signed up, and quickly received a bunch of messages from different people.
 
“Everyone was really creepy,” Rowland said, “I realized that I should only meet up with any of the people that messaged me if I wanted to get raped or murdered.”
 
Shortly after, she deleted her profile.
 
Jackson Downey, 20, an Ocean County College student, also joined the site for financial reasons and out of curiosity.
 
He wanted to “see if anyone would actually hit me up and pay me to hang out with them.”
 
His profile says he’s available for activities from hot air balloon rides to being a shopping errand. His blurb reads, “I would make a great friend because I’m just an all-around awesome human being.” Despite his self-proclaimed awesomeness, Downey didn’t experience much success.

“I only checked back at the site after about the first week or two and I didn’t get any messages,” Downey said, “After a little, I got an actual job and I guess I forgot about it altogether.”
 
“I guess I should have given it some more time but I guess I was just looking for some quick cash.”
 
Still, he wasn’t negative about the site. “I like how you can pick from scratch anything to do and you get to pick how much you want for the ‘job’.”

These flexible jobs are cropping up all over the Internet. There’s a shocking variety of services you can rent people for, and not what you’d immediately think of. Need a breakup now and don’t want to do it? iDUMP4u will call them for you. Use Celeb 4 a Day to hire fake paparazzi and bodyguards to follow you around.
 
Even more intimate than RentAFriend, the Japanese company Hagemashi Tai rents out family members if you need to fill seats at your wedding, or impress your partner’s parents.
 
Like answering ads on Craigslist, these jobs obviously come with a bit of danger for the rented friend, paparazzi, or family member.
 
Yet Downey said, “If I had actually met up with someone and I didn’t get killed and the people seemed normal, I would do it again.”

Comments