Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cloud Girlfriend

I've recently come across an interesting new launch called Cloud Girlfriend. Essentially, you sign up and then you get an imaginary girlfriend who exists on Facebook etc. It's not porn or dating, and it's not a bot, but real people.

There's mixed reactions to it on the blogosphere and twitterverse, ranging from the assumption that it's a publicity stunt or a joke, to calling it sexist towards women.

I think it's a great idea though. How many of us sign up for all sorts of feeds and apps that basically send us inane messages on a daily basis? I'm on several mailing lists and I have to admit, I do still get a little thrill when I see my inbox light up with a special offer just for me, or a survey they're sure I'd love to fill out. It makes me feel noticed and needed. It's a little buzz of positive feelings. Plenty of people get messages with today's horoscope or recipe, or even job alerts.
We've all signed up and in some cases paid someone else to send us messages that make us just a little bit happier and more confident, because it feels a bit as if someone cares and believes in us and that helps us believe in ourselves. So why not sign up and even pay to have someone to leave the kind of messages on your wall that a girlfriend might? "Good luck with your interview! <3", "Missing you already, come home soon!", "had a great night out with @myimaginaryboyfriend. I'm so lucky! Love u lots."

It's like a big game.You'll know it's only virtual, but that little positive thrill is still there. Like when you play an RPG and you tell people you slayed the dragon and brought home the treasure. The accomplishment is imaginary, but the feeling of accomplishment isn't. The tagline: "the best way to get a girlfriend is to already have one" isn't meant to trick other people into thinking you have a girlfriend. It's meant to trick yourself into feeling like you do. When we play games as an attractive and powerful avatar, even for just 90 seconds, we take that confidence and attitude with us for 24 hours. Essentially, you're playing a game called "I have a girlfriend who adores me". You are playing a powerful avatar: the kind of person who has a gorgeous, intelligent, sparkly girlfriend, and you can take that confidence with you from the virtual into the real world.

I'm curious to watch this idea develop.
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