Remember Cloud Girlfriend, that mysterious startup we covered whose tagline was, “The best way to get a girlfriend is to already be inflicted with one”? Water supply, it’s finally launched, and we’ve got invites.
The initial conceit of the site, according to founder David Fuhriman, was that it would use a legion of women to write on men’s walls as “cloud girlfriends,” demonstrating a dude’s popularity to all of his female friends (who would apparently glide into jealous rages over the digital flirting and snatch #SarcMark).
[More from Mashable: Want a Girlfriend? This Startup Can Hook You Up … With a Virtual One]
The current iteration of the site is a bit uncommon — what Fuhriman describes as a mix between Match.com and Second Life. Users log in through Facebook and make a profile using a selection of headshots of striking people (not their own snaps). They then fill out a rather simplistic profile, which allows one to choose between such options as “Books or Movies” (what if you like both?), “Lady Gaga or Lady Di?” (for women only — and there’s no sexual preference options) and “Sunday Church or Sunday Football” (for dudes — apparently it’s church or sports, no in-between).
After looking through a bunch of photos of fake people and their accompanying profiles, you can choose someone to chat with. “We allow people to mark out their ideal self, find their perfect girlfriend or boyfriend and connect and interact as if that person existed,” Fuhriman says. “It can help in culture how to manage a real relationship, and they then can take it into the real world.” The site makes money by selling virtual gifts and goods.
[More from Mashable: OkCupid CEO: We Will Not Charge Users Following Match.com Acquisition]
While we admire Fuhriman’s intentions — he hopes that the site will build confidence and increase sharing and interaction (he’s also co-founder of volunteer site 5000Hands) — the whole thing seems a small counterintuitive to us.
By choosing photos that are not, in fact you, the thought could be perceived to be that looks don’t matter. But if that is, in fact, the case, why choose a photo of someone much more striking than you are in reality when looking to score a date?
The words “ideal” and “perfect” are inherently perilous when applied to dating and relationships (as rarely anyone is either) — in fact, a recent study by dating site OKCupid shows that women who are more divisive (a.k.a. men find them either hideous or hot) get more attention. Why? Because they let their personality — along with what could be perceived as flaws — shine through.
Why build all your hopes on fantasy when you could get to know a more fascinating — albeit flawed — reality?
Still, I guess we can’t really knock it wholly till we try it. Cloud Girlfriend has provided us with 500 invite codes (use the language “mashable”) for men looking to join the site. Apparently, women can join sans language, since the site was initially marketed toward men.
Photo courtesy of Flickr, Don Hankins
This tale originally published on Mashable here.
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