Rent a friend

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Whether you are looking for a dinner partner or just someone to talk to, a new Australian-based website allows you to hire a platonic friend for a fee. But should you?

The premise of the new website, Friends for Hire, is that you can pay someone a fee for their time, in a strictly platonic sense. The one caveat of the site is your activity cannot involve any physical contact. Beyond that what you do is up to you and your new rent-a-friend.

Suggestions for how you might use the Friends for Hire website:

  • sporting events
  • family or work functions
  • workout partner
  • someone to cook with or help out in the kitchen
  • meeting friends
  • going for dinner
  • sightseeing
  • tutoring
  • learning another language
  • dog walking
  • going to the movies
  • someone to talk to on the phone

The website divides its users into two categories: friends, who can charge up to $60 per hour for their company, and members, who are charged a $5 weekly membership in order to find a friend.

Co-founder and managing partner Josh Blundell told The Business Insider that Friends for Hire is not intended as a romantic matchmaking website or a platform for soliciting sexual services. “It’s definitely not a dating website. It’s for people who are lonely, without the expectation that things will move beyond a platonic friendship. If anyone was found to be outside the terms of service, we would remove them from the site.”

Blundell says he thinks that it’s getting harder to meet people platonically, with the rise of social media and dating sites.

You can see the new site at www.friendsforhire.com.au.

What do you think? Is this website a good solution if you are lonely? Or is it wrong to charge someone for your time as a ‘friend’? Is this a way for society to reconnect, or a band-aid for a much larger problem of widespread loneliness?

Would you ever use a site such as Friends for Hire? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.



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