“I was an invisible girlfriend for a month.”


#1

[Read the post]


#2

The premise would make for a fun dating app - give each party the opportunity to “like” replies left by other “invisibles,” then attempt to match people based on like patterns.


#3

I’m accepting donations to aide in the development of my Cloaked Catfish app.


#4

I wasn’t sure what to think about this story and this service.

I was kind of torn between the rose-tinted:
“How nice, thousands of people value the little human interactions of a relationship so much that they’re willing to jump right into this.”
which then took a sharp turn into the deeply cynical “This is the ultimate expression of alienation and commodification of human relationships, with a dash of low wage exploitation thrown in”

I asked myself- who would sign up for this sort of thing, when it looks exactly like a carefully laid trap for human emotions?

Then I saw on their FAQ

“Hoping to buy some time and convince my parents I’m in a relationship until I’m ready to come out”

Okay, Now I get it.


#5

In the linked article the author mentions making a nickel for each text, and how more users seemed to be interested in honestly talking rather than conducting a Turing test.

I’m reminded of Lucy’s sign in Peanuts: “Psychiatry: 5 cents.”


#6

The pay was what stood out to me as well, so I had to crunch the very basic numbers: you’d have to average slightly better than a text every 25 seconds to make minimum wage. That includes the time needed to accept the “job” for each response, read the relevant history, think of a reply, and type it. Frankly, with models like this so popular, I’ll be surprised if we aren’t all “independent contractors” within a decade. :frowning:


#7

But they are also uber driving on the side, so it all works out.


#8

I just hope Reed Richards treats his invisible girlfriend with the respect she deserves.


#9

It’s hard to believe that paying $0.01/minute even covers the electricity and internet bill required to do the job.


#10

Back in the Good Old Days, women could work for fifty cents on the dollar because it was assumed they had a husband with a real paycheck. For years, the new model has been under-thirties working for peanuts while sleeping on Mom’s sofa. That’s trying to grow until it engulfs us all - but there isn’t an endless supply of moms.

Welcome to globalization. Now you get to compete on equal terms with illiterate peasants in western China. I hear it’s going to make us all millionaires.


#11

Is she Canadian?


#12

This reminds me very much of the relationship Miranda has with Nell in The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. In that case it’s familial (sort-of) instead of romantic. Otherwise the details are nearly identical.


#13

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