Opinion Brief

Cloud girlfriends on Facebook: Cool or creepy?

A new company promises customers a fake admirer who will post flattering messages on your wall

Looking for the perfect girlfriend'? Soon, there will be an app for that... sort of. "Cloud Girlfriend," the latest buzz-generating internet startup, plans to offer virtual girlfriends who will post adoring messages on your Facebook wall, or shower you with praise on Twitter, so your real friends will think you've got it going on. The company's co-founder, David Fuhriman, promises that the "cloud girlfriends" will be a network of actual human beings — "not bots" — so users will also get the comfort of real, wholesome interaction. Is this an innovative way to help people project the image they want, or is it just a little sad?

It's sad — and not just a little: "I can think of a few reasons guys would want this," says Kate Torgovnick at The Frisky, "to make another girl jealous or to convince friends and family members that they’re straight if they’re still in the closet." But any way you look at it, getting a "fake girlfriend" is pretty darn pathetic — especially since the website advertises its faux lover wearing zebra-print high heels. Ew.
"What exactly is a cloud girlfriend"

But it just might work: Like it or not, nothing "gets the online ladies going" like some other lady "writing all over your Facebook wall," says Brenna Ehrlich at Mashable. So if this "mysterious" startup really gets launched (and that's still a big if), it could be the salvation of many lonely guys. "After all, 'I love you' means nada unless it's posted between a video of a big cat in a tiny box and a frantic plea from your friend Jonah to 'Gett totaly crunked on sat! dude.'"
"Want a girlfriend? This startup can hook you up — with a virtual one"

This will make lonely guys even more miserable: You have to pity "lonely dudes," says Leila Brillson at Switched. "Beyond the fact that they are desolate, there are entire industries devoted to making them feel worse and taking their money." It's hard to know what's sadder — the guys who are so desperate they will actually pay for a fake Facebook girlfriend, or the company that exploits their loneliness into a "lucrative service."
"'Cloud Girlfriend' makes sad guys feel worse about being single"

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