Tag Archive: social

If you need someone to hang out with for a beer or come with you to a wedding, there is a Web site that allows you to rent that person’s friendly services for an hourly fee.  Yes, it sounds ridiculous to me and no matter how anti-social or lonely I might get, I don’t think I will rent a friend. The thought of it is just sad. It’s sad because every aspect of real life from socializing to dating can now gratified quickly through some online service or Web site. You don’t ever need to get out of the house and do something to meet people. Because a friend is only a click away. That’s just my opinion though, Here’s the full article from AOL.com:

Scott Rosenbaum has thousands of people available to keep you company — for a price. But he’s no pimp, and his website,

RentAFriend.com, is no escort service. Pay $24.95 a month (or $69.95 a year) to become a member, and you get to choose from a vast menu of “friends” with whom you can play Parcheesi, go to the movies, or perhaps use as a fake relative. Almost anything, as long as it doesn’t involve sex.

While some may think it sad that people are willing to pay for the most basic human companionship, Rosenbaum (pictured) views it as an underserved niche and a promising business opportunity. He thinks of his venture as the antidote to dating and sex sites like AshleyMadison.com, which facilitates extramarital hookups. “I want to take it a step backward,” he told WalletPop. “It’s about platonic friendship. There’s a complete void in that market.”

Granted, most of his customers who claim to be merely looking for a pal tend to choose a member of the opposite sex. But Rosenbaum writes that off as human nature. The intent just better not be nooky. While some of his RentAFriends dress provocatively in their profile photo, it’s all about context. Someone wearing a cleavage-baring cocktail number at a party is one thing; flaunting that same dress in a come-hither pose on the bed is another. And Rosenbaum has made it a mission to view and approve every profile.

Rosenbaum launched RentAFriend.com in 2009. He was inspired by a Japanese service that employed the same concept, but that site was aimed more at avoiding social embarrassment. For instance, someone without a father might hire a friend to fill the role at an important function. Requests in the U.S. seem to lean toward less-complicated circumstances. Jennifer Morrison,a married 31-year-old RentAFriend from Las Vegas, accompanied a shy computer programmer to the Pinball Hall of Fame and helped a stay-at-home mom fill her scrapbook, an Associated Press story reported. She charges $20 to $30 an hour.

Lori Thomas, who is in her early 40s and is from Southern California, recently signed up as a friend for hire. She charges $40 an hour. “I did already have one request to go walking on the beach, but the person had to reschedule for next week since he had to go out of town,” she wrote in an e-mail to WalletPop.

RentAFriend.com now boasts more than 209,000 “friends” available for the site’s 2,100 paid clients to choose from. These clients just need to type in their zip code to find out which RentAFriends are located nearby, and to view their profiles. Registrants post at least one picture accompanied by descriptions including “ethnicity” and “body type.” To make contact, visitors must then fork over the dues, which Rosenbaum pockets.

As for the hourly rates, the RentAFriends settle the terms on their own with paid members — fees generally range from $10 to $150 an hour — and they keep the cash for services rendered. It’s an odd way to make money, but for some RentAFriends it’s enjoyable work.

“I don’t care if I get paid,” Doug Hardy, a 25-year-old RentAFriend from Encinitas, Calif., wrote in an email. “I just enjoy hanging out with people.” Hardy liked the concept of being borrowed as a buddy. “It gives people an opportunity to jump into any type of social niche without having to wait several years to gather friends,” he said

Rosenbaum, a married father of two who lives in New Jersey, rises at 2 p.m. and works until 5 a.m. in order to keep RentAFriends.com running smoothly.

“I want to grow it to where someone comes along and wants to buy it for a lot of money,” he said. Yet, Rosenbaum says he sees the site as more than just a way to make cash. While he says many of his members are frequent travelers who don’t want to eat alone while on the road. There is the other half, too.”There are lonely people who don’t have a lot of friends, who want to be social,” he said.

It’s my third return to college and I optimistically see myself having a good academic year. These past couple of days before school starts have been fun and laced with social outings, activities and the reuniting of friends old and new. Despite all the fun. I feel tormented from this encumbering pressure I put on myself to get a girlfriend; knowing very well that getting one is an unrealistic goal. I feel a girlfriend is something that antagonizes the life goals I’ve set for myself to develop into a responsible adult.

But at the same time I constantly wish for the intimacy, trust and special friendship that I can share with that “special” girl. The girl that could stimulate warm, fuzzy and all the all-so-good feelings in the world that I would do whatever it takes, make a commitment to sustain those feelings. Go ahead call it love, but I wouldn’t know what that is.

I thought I had met that “special” girl that gave me those feelings. I dreamt and constantly manifested images of us in deep conversation, having a strong connection and relishing the physical attraction between us. But I would try and determine if  I was able to return the favor and stimulate those feelings in her but there was something that was always wrong with this romantic equation- Me.

I am a dark cloud of self-doubt. I’m an underachiever. I’m a not leader. I cower away in corners. I am selfish. I am hardened. I am spiritually misguided. I am lost. 

It was hard to admit and come to self-realization with these vices that chain me. But I least I now know what’s keeping me down. But that is not the complete resolution. Is it prayer? Becoming closer to God? I heard such resolutions are for the weak. Sometimes, I think that is true.

What do you actually think of social networking? Is is just a crazy internet fad that our generation just blindly follows? another one of those things that the youth just waste their time doing? Or is it something that is actually bigger than that?

Personally, social networking is, has and will potentially become a big part of every-one’s life one way or another. That is because  social networking sites have become an essential part of communication. Communication as groundbreaking as the mobile phone, radio and Television. They pull us into a black hole of infinite information which is useful to all of its users. Businesses these days desperately try to advertise on social networking sites in order to expand their products and services to over one billion social networking users.

As a result, social networking sites are tools that we can use for various reasons. Catch up, keeping in touch or making new friends, blogging,  marketing and promoting a new product. But there seems to be an influx of these social networking tools and I don’t know how if I can keep up with all of them.

The first social networking site I joined was Hi5 where I was reunited with my old buddies from elementary school in 2004 but it became an unsucessful project for me in the end. I also experimented with other various sites like Black Planet, Tagged, and Friendster but I didn’t find much use for them. Then there was the ever-popular MySpacewhere I heard my friends talking about it in English class. This whole MySpace craze spread infectiously and I was inevitably compelled to get one. It was fun when it started because now I was in a circle of high school friends I could keep in touch with. In a way, social networking made it easier to communicate with people that you would not want to talk to on the phone or in person because it’d just be weird and awkward.

Suddenly, MySpace got out of hand with the constant spamming and random friend requests from swimsuit models and pornstars. its social aspect was also dwindling because I hardly communicated with my friends. Sometimes it was difficult to find any of your friends because of the random and stupid display names we all had like,  “I’m a gAngSTA”, “Big-Mack WOoD”,  “D@iSiee”  and all that non-sense. MySpace then became a popularity-contest. It was about who had the most random friends, most comments, and the coolest designed page. It just became filthy and extremely childish. Iwas sick of it and I immediately deleted my account telling myself I would never get into any more of these social networking cess pools.

After graduating from high school and recovering from a horrible stint with MySpace, I quickly found out that I was still addicted to the social networking sites. I was in dire need of one now that I was going to college. Not having one was not like having a cell phone. Then I found Facebook.

I heard a lot of good things about it; that it was good as MySpace and even had better features. Facebookwas another one of those social networking giants that recently came on the scene after MySpace. Insanely popular but what really impressed me is that it was nothing like Facebook. There was no HTML that you had to constantly fidget with, it was easy to connect with and find your friends because all you had to do was search for their names, not as much spam, most of the the applications were very useful and it had a very professional look to it. That is a plus given the fact that I’m a college student now and a potential employer might want to look me up post-grad.

Till this day Facebook is best social networking tool I have ever come across and constantly find many uses for it such as blogging, sharing and  keeping in touch with family and friends. So the long-lost search for the right social-networking site came to an end. Then came Twitter.

Twitter is just not another social networking site, it also serves as a mirco-blogging service. Users can read or put up  messages known as tweets for other users or affiliated networking groups. Tweets are text-based updates that are only up to 140 characters long. Users can decide to have tweets on their Twitter page to be made public or private. Unlike the other social networking sites you don’t make any friends, you gather followers. Followers are users that subscribe to your page in order to view your tweets.

Twitter was first created by Jack Dorsey in 2006 but didn’t really catch on until Febraury 2009  when it became the third most used social networking site according  to a poll from compete.com. Twitter has also become one of the fastest growing websites since March 2009 with 10 million users worldwide. Twitter also made history with the unfortunate passing away of Michael Jackson. The rumors and confirmation of Jackson’s death generated over 900 million tweets from all over the world, coming in at every millisecond. Twitter was overloaded with so many tweets that it temporarily crashed. Even the news came hours before news networks like CNN confirmed and gave coverage of the shocking event. But that’s not surprising. With Twitter on the internet, usually any news or event becomes a trending topic on Twitter way before it’s covered by the media

As a result, I became a user of Twitter. Not that I’m a follower or anything like that. I found it quite useful because it is another good source of communication, keeps me in touch with my friends and provides me a lot of good connections with the outside world. Besides I spend a lot more time on the computer than  I do watching  TV.  But I don’t think that I have seen the last of any these social networking websites because there will be more and they might even surpass  Facebook and Twitter and over load us with more information and connections. We will constantly have to sift through them and decide which ones work best for us for the rest of our lives.