Mashable reports on a Japanese company that offers ‘friends’ for rent. Family Romance markets their service to those looking for people to pose in their social media photos with them. The company notes benefits of increased likes, comments and a sense of popularity. Each actor/actress will cost up to $70 for two hours. You can even select specific characteristics including age, gender and attractiveness.
I initially thought this was a satirical article and found it quite depressing when I realized it was an actual company. The creation of this service touches upon a more serious topic, the increasing view that our self-worth is equated by our number of social media engagements. It also displays Erving Goffman’s concepts of the contrast of our real lives and those we portray on the internet.