Will Virtual Girlfriends Herald The End Of Dating?

A new service offers up virtual girlfriends who will show their affection for you on the various social networking sites of your choice.

 

As if single women in New York didn’t have enough to contend with already, they are now faced with competition from virtual girlfriends. A startup called Cloud Girlfriend recently put up a page allowing interested parties to sign up for a virtual “perfect girlfriend.” Users get to define what, for them, makes a girlfriend perfect — and voila. When the startup launches, users are promised attention from their virtual girlfriend(s) on the social network of their choice. Sounds far-fetched? Not quite. We did an impromptu survey of our friends and heard some surprising answers – “sure, I’d try it” and “at this point…,” the implication being that men are either so scarred by being nagged about cleaning habits and having to meet the in-laws, or too busy to participate in a relationship with an actual human, that they are ready to try whatever’s out there. Ouch.

Curious about the long term sustainability of Cloud Girlfriend, we consulted Men’sHealth about what attributes make a girlfriend perfect. Here’s what we learned:

  1. Laughs with us, and at us.
  2. Takes her affection outside, is comfortable with PDA.
  3. Kisses us when we’re down, defends and supports us.
  4. Likes us for our physical qualities but loves us for who we are.
  5. Makes an effort with our friends and impresses them.
  6. Lets us meet her guy friends.
  7. Smooths our moods.
  8. Reinvents foreplay.
  9. Knows what really turns us on…and so on.

A virtual girlfriend could, if we’re being generous, fulfill maybe four of those requirements. Not bad?

The next question is: Is American society ready for virtual girlfriends? They’re part of the social landscape in modern Japan, as covered by The Wall Street Journal, but Japanese society also has a flourishing demimonde of fetish culture, while Americans tend to be a little more straight-laced. It’s conceivable that Cloud Girlfriend is the logical progression of online dating, and the successor of sites like Chatroulette and OkCupid, but as to whether the trend will stick or not, only time will tell. A lot may ride on whether or not Facebook’s Terms of Service will update to actually allow fake personae to be set up.

Cloud Girlfriend

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