Lonely and miserable? No luck with OkCupid? Eating a microwaveable meal for one while playing Farmville in what used to be your lucky pants? Well, a website called Cloud Girlfriend may soon be around to help.
Cloud Girlfriend has yet to launch but is already generating sky-high levels of hype. With the tagline: ‘The best way to get a girlfriend is to already have one’, it promises to up your social networking ante by offering a ‘public long-distance relationship with your perfect girl’.
As far as your Facebook friends can tell, you’ll be ‘in a relationship’. It will be your smug updates that make them question the meaninglessness of their existence. And it will be your misty-eyed love notes that make them want to vomit over their computer screen, before hurling it into a lake.
Cloud Girlfriend is, of course, an entirely nebulous creation. She will consist of a fake profile, managed by a team of people who are probably bald and male. But she will post on your wall, and ‘like’ your statuses, and nobody but the checkout lady at Tesco need know about the microwaveable meals.
It is unclear at this stage whether Cloud Girlfriend will ever see the light of day. Facebook’s terms of service are adamant that ‘you will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.’ Cloud Girlfriend fails on this count. Given the ‘probably bald and male’ bit, it is a fount of false personal information.
Still, the founders seem to be a philanthropic bunch. As co-founder David Fuhriman told the website Business Insider, interacting with a virtual girlfriend may help build up confidence and social skills. It might also make a man more desirable, with visitors to his profile thinking, “Someone else thinks highly enough of this person to date him, so maybe I should too.”
If that sounds cynical (I for one am not sure I could date someone who had in essence hired a hologramatic escort), the research is on Fuhriman’s side. A study in 2009 revealed that taken men were over 50 per cent more attractive to women than single ones. Apparently this is due to attached men having been ‘pre-screened’ by other women, whereas single guys haven’t yet been vetted.
Do the wall posts of a pretend girlfriend courtesy of a paid-for website count as pre-screening? Probably not, but if you want to impress other women she’s potentially a better bet than Farmville. Believe me, most things are…