Would you buy your friends?
Friends for sale! Buy a friend!
Is society having to “buy friends” in order to have some form of personal contact? Have we become so attached to our computer that we have to take out our pocketbook and buy a friend? We live in a world where we buy food, cars, animals, and donor eggs and sperm. So why would we not be able to buy a friend? “Yes, I would like to order one friend between the ages of 25-30, please.” Is the practice of buying friends actually occurring? It seems as though the answer is an emphatic “YES.”
So how would one go about buying a friend, anyway? Surprisingly, many of us are already doing it, but we don’t even realize it or think of it in terms of “buying a friend.”
Here are some more covert ways in which people might buy friends:
Every year thousands of sorority and fraternity hopefuls enter the “rush” process, in which most pledge to uphold the standards and pay a lofty price for the membership of their particular Greek affiliation. This “membership fee” allows pledges to consort with other pledges of the same Greek affiliation.
If you have every joined a club or organization, most likely you had to pay some upfront fee in order to be a member. If one of those members ended up being a social acquaintance or friend, then you just bought yourself a friend through the joining of your local club. For instance, if one was to join the Sierra Club and began affiliating with a member as a result organizational membership, then a friend has just been bought via organizational dues.
Here are some more overt ways in which people buy friends:
3. Companies use Facebook to buy friends:
Companies with Facebook accounts offer to pay Facebook members to ‘friend’ them. This is a form of social marketing and public relations for companies that want their name to be seen and heard via grassroots mechanisms. Thus, these companies who engage in these campaigns literally buy friends to increase their exposure. Usocial.net is a company that specializes in helping companies “buy friends” via social networks. In fact, another company proposes that a friend on Facebook will cost you 7.6 cents per friend. Thus, one could purchase 5000 friends for a cool $654.30.
A company named RentaFriend.com exists that offers a friend rental service. Individuals can actually rent a friend for $10 per hour. While this company does not allow one to buy a friend for life, it does allow one to buy a friend for an hour or for a specified amount of time at an hourly rate. This service is available in almost every state within the United States and has recently gone worldwide.
Overall, friends are for sale and are seemingly being bought. Whether one’s purchase is through an indirect or direct method, it looks as though everyone needs a friend from time to time. The aforementioned overt “friend buying” methods may seem absurd; but, in an independently driven society and ever growing virtual reality, a friend may be exactly what someone needs. Whether a friend is bought or made the old-fashioned way, personal contact with another individual is a basic human need.