Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, July 10, 2021

RentAFriend.com offers non-sexual companionship services for an hourly fee. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the platonic-supply business is booming:

“I wish I had more to tell you,” [RentAFriend member Christopher] said, shouting into his cellphone as a city bus roared by. “But not one person has called me since I signed up five months ago.”

Next I called Sabine. She’s 51, from Germany, and charges $30 an hour for her friendship. That’s also her rate for her regular job: pet-sitting exotic animals, namely reptiles (she has 45 of her own at home, including a python). She joined RentAFriend because she “thought it was a great concept,” though, like Christopher, she’s been a member for several months and no one’s called her…

The next 10 or so people I left messages with never called me back, maybe because they’re working overtime in hot-air balloons.

One qualifier: The above sampling took place in Los Angeles. And as we already know, the definition of “friendship” is different in LA:

…When people talk about ‘friends’ they often aren’t really claiming to know that person socially, or that they see them on the weekends, or have their home number. They would even be surprised if you made that assumption. To them, when they say ‘friend’ they mean it, and expect it to be understood by the listener as, ’someone I know’.

So, at least in Southern California, it makes little sense to pay for a relationship status that you can claim merely by bumping into someone a couple of times. As for other areas, those friending rates are probably high enough that it actually makes more sense to just ask someone out for a date — with the same ultimate dollar figure, and at least the possibility of a more intimate conclusion.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/10/2021 06:17pm
Category: Internet, Society
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