Faking it just got real.
A recent App has come out that allows users to literally fake having a significant other. The App, designed to help people seem loved for the sake of their coworkers, family and friends, allows users to set up a profile for their fake counterpart. The user chooses the name, picture, interests and backstory of how they met, or rather, how they want people to think they met.
The app, rightfully deemed ‘Invisible Boyfriend’ or ‘Invisible Girlfriend’ depending on your preference for fake relationship partners goes so far as to have texting abilities. And rather than a robot communicating with you on the other end with simple automated responses, it’s a real person, that is, if you can dole out the $25/ month app fee. As for the photos you chose for your fake loved one, well, those are real people too.
“Its funny because a lot of things like Facebook, twitter and all of it can kind of be a face and a mask towards companies when you apply for a job,” says Elie Guttmann, a second-year graphic design student at Humber College. “But for this you could say that might be going in the direction towards your friends, so the aspect where it gets weird is your faking towards your friends.”
Luckily for those who are considering this as an option to evade pressures to date from parents or friends, that fee includes proof such as 100 text messages, 10 voicemails, one handwritten note and the virtual proof you created on their profile.
“I think it’s weird,” says Amy Bhesania, a first-year advertising student at Humber College Lakeshore campus. “I almost feel like it shouldn’t exist because why do people need to fake that aspect of their life.”
While this may seem unnecessary to some, the app creators are looking to spread ‘Invisible Boyfriend/Girlfriend’ to countries where for example, it is illegal to be gay. The app would aid users to fake having a heterosexual relationship for their family, community and workplace.
“I think it’s a good idea, if it’s used as protection against discrimination and homophobia and intolerance and if it helps in some way it’s good,” says Liz Sokol, a councilor at Humber College North campus. “If people in those countries really will have access to this than have at it.”
Although the app may provide protection against prosecution or humiliation in countries where sexual orientation may not be as free as it is in Canada, where the app currently exists, some people don’t see it as the answer.
“It’s not a solution though,” says Bhesania. “It’s a Band-Aid.”
The app itself can be used for a variety of reasons and may have some benefits. Young adults focusing on their careers or those who prefer to be independent but still try to please their pressuring parents or friends may find it useful. But for those who want a relationship and see this as their only option, it may do more harm than good.
“If you are socially isolated and you sign up for this, all that does is increase your social isolation,” says Sokol. “If you’re showing it to people and acting as if you have a partner you’re not going to have the opportunity to meet anyone.”
The app itself comes with a variety of pros and cons and although it may seem strange to some, it may have undeniable benefits for others. But as for sexting and nude photos, the app just isn’t there yet.