Are bullies over on Second Life kicking virtual sand in your face because you don't have hundreds of hot friends on your MySpace or Facebook page?
Well, here's some good news to pump up your deflated ego: A new service called Fake Your Space launched Thursday that allows you to essentially rent some "hot" faux cyber buddies you can add as friends and who will leave comments on your page each week. (I should add that as ludicrous as this service sounds, it doesn't appear to be a hoax.)
How does it work? Well, first you get to browse through catalogs of potential male and female "friends," all of whom look like average, run-of-the-mill models and will undoubtedly blend into your existing Friends page about as subtly as a Carrot Top fits in at a Mr. Universe pageant.
The catalogs aren't bogged down with any real information about your pseudo rent-a-friend, such as where they live, what they do, or what grade level they've completed. You make your "purchase" decision based strictly on their mug shots and first names -- though the site does emphasize that it offers "all different kinds of ethnicities, sexual preferences, and body types." (Notably, body types such as "Rubenesque" and "gaunt" don't appear to be in the mix.)
Once you've decided on a new friend, you simply add him or her to your cart and check out. The cost of the service currently starts at 99 cents per month per friend, which gets you two "personal comments" on your page per week. That's a special trial price, though, so you should definitely order now. Maybe toss a couple of friends in your cart for your unpopular sibling who still lives in your parents' basement, too.
The real question is, how effective a ruse will this be? The site eloquently claims that your real Internet friends won't be fooled. "We understand that you want your friends to look as normal as possible and as far from fake as possible. This is what we specialize in. We actually do make you look more popular." Well, I suspect your real friends would probably have to have brains the size of kumquats not to be fooled, but perhaps I'm just a little bit jaded.
Plus, the site does have actual testimony from "Lindsay in San Diego" who proclaims "FakeYourSpace changed my online life. I have never been so popular!" Quite a remarkable feat, considering the service has been up for about 24 hours.