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On Air: Do we have real friends anymore?

Krupa Thakrar Padhy Krupa Thakrar Padhy | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I once heard an old man say that if you can count your good friends on one hand, then you've had a good life. Friendship takes time, effort and commitment - that's if you go about it the old fashioned way.

You can now clock up those numbers by renting a friend online. A new website Rentafriend.com has come to the UK, having already been a hit in the US and Canada. The idea of renting a buddy is nothing to new to some parts of the world, including Japan where it's common culture.

For Terence Blacker, the website simply tells us how lonely we really are, whilst for Leanne Italie from the Malaysia Star, the site could be a helping hand for web-addicts and bored grandmas.

 Social media consultant Ant Hodges, believes that the internet is simply an extension of real life which we should be open to.

But what about the disappointment if nobody calls to rent you? Aren't the hardships of real life enough without having to feel rejection in the virtual world?

This blogger agrees that the site may have some real-life value.

'Suppose you have to go to a business outing in a city where you don't know anyone? You could rent a friend to go with you (though sexual advances are completely prohibited by the site's policy, sorry). You could have your friend step in on your behalf and attend an event you didn't want to be at, begging your forgiveness and explaining that you were unable to make it because of an unexpected death in the family, etc.'

Is renting a friend online just another push towards us becoming cut off from reality? South Korea is already seeing the consequences of being too wired with the rise of juvenile web-addicts.

How sincere are your friendships? Are there limits to modern friendship?

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