On coming down to watch the news this morning before heading out on the bike to work, I found the BBC news team chatting to a dating expert and another guest about a new ‘Rent a Friend‘ scheme that has found it’s way to the UK.
Successful in the US it seems like the new online introduction service has found it’s way to British shores to help ‘connect’ people in a new way and to help those who find building relationships in ‘real life’ difficult.
The argument that came this morning was that this not great idea and the old way of chatting over the fence, meeting at the pub, the market or introductions by other friends or work colleagues is ‘under threat’ – is it really?
We have seen the birth of social media platforms online in recent years and how these platforms have become extensions of our ‘real life’ and essentially have helped to create new ‘digital life’ communities online.
Mant people will tell you that they do not spend 100% of their rime connecting with friends online and that they do meet up at the pub, church or park to socialise in the traditional ways.
Dubbed as another online dating service that is preying on the lonely to turn a quick buck, the new rent a friend by the hour, is sure to stir things up a little – it’s new. Look at the stigma that people got from dating websites when they first came out, and now how more and more are connecting with people, meeting and seeing relationships blossom.
I think those that are taking to an extreme in saying that this is the demise of society as we know it, I would urge to to keep an open mind about new technology and the way that the internet is helping to connect more people and build communities on website that just didn’t exist years ago.
Change is the only constant in life, and the internet and technological advances means that we will see many more new things created both online and offline. The fear of change drives the, sometimes irrational, fear in many people. This normally gets blown out of all proportion by those that don’t really understand it and those not really operating in these new relationship building activities.
Let’s encourage those that do seem to be online 24/7 to get down the pub and do more real life ‘stuff’ and lets encourage those that are anti the internet age, to try it and see.
Whatever the success or failure of this new service, the internet will never replace face to face activity and those who think so, do need to take a reality check. The internet will just help as an extension to life.