Are you tired of work, metro, sleep? Here are some of the weird and wonderful alternatives you can exercise with nothing but a laptop and a quality pair of socks.
News flash: The online world is a strange place. And if we’re worried about the evolution of sites like ChatGPT, perhaps we should rather worry about some career paths that have sprung up amid our favorite pastimes: social media and screens.
As the cost of living crisis rages across Europe and businesses across all sectors cut staff, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the jobs listed here urge you to ditch the 10am to 6pm and you embark on a somewhat less conventional activity.
After all, why sit at a desk for eight hours a day when you could be paid to sit in a movie theater with a stranger who pays you by the hour to be his friend?
Here are some of the weirdest jobs that could earn you a living in our online world.
Become an influencer on TikTok by filming the smallest details of your life
This is just a subset of a growing sector of social media: lifestyle content creators.
Remember when people were ostracized on Instagram for taking pictures of their lunch? It’s kind of the same, but with Olympic-grade steroids and, oddly, a huge following.
You might wonder why anyone would want to know every detail of a stranger’s day, from their skincare routine to how they clean their kitchen surfaces. But in 2023, we can confirm it: the appetite is there. And people take advantage of it.
In fact, the industry has become so lucrative that France is currently finalizing a landmark “influencer law” that will regulate this space, and tax authorities want to make sure they get their share of it.
Lifestyle content creators tend to make money through advertising and paid partnerships. They range from “micro-influencers”, generally considered to have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, who can earn between 100 and 500 euros per message, to “mega-influencers” (over a million followers) who can reach up to 10,000 euros for a single message.
Influencers were around before TikTok became popular, but the short-form video platform has only increased demand for content on…well, basically anything.
Sell your dirty socks and pictures of your feet to strangers
We’re not saying that foot fetishism is a phenomenon that arose with the internet, but the online world has made it much more accessible (and acceptable), just like any other fetish you may or may not be susceptible to.
Insider recently reported on the monthly earnings of a woman who sells pictures and videos of her feet, along with her dirty socks, to customers willing to pay up to $500 for the socks alone.
According to Insider, this woman, who had previously worked in hospitality and hairdressing, discovered the “Fun with Feet” website during a lockdown, when work slowed and it was unclear when things would go back to normal.
Ladies and gentlemen, non-binary, now is the time to treat yourself to a pedicure and a new set of cotton socks. A little investment in your baby walkers could see you through the cost of living crisis.
Get paid to be someone’s friend
On a more serious note, if we think about the repercussions of technological advancements, social media dominating our subconscious and our growing dependence on our devices, the global average for screen time is around seven hours per day.
So it’s no surprise that the problem of people who feel like they don’t have much time to build real in-person relationships is getting worse.
In the United States, for example, the proportion of people who report having no close friends has risen from 3% in 1990 to 12% in 2021, according to surveys by Gallup and the Survey Center on American Life.
Luckily, there are legitimate jobs out there ready to exploit the world’s rising rates of loneliness. For example, RentAFriend.com, where you can be hired to join your best friend, i.e. your employer, at events such as family parties, sporting events or just to hang out together.
Such websites also make it easy to find people who can teach others skills such as cooking or a new language, or show someone around their city. So it’s not as tragic as it sounds.
RentAFriend.com says you could earn around $10 an hour, but your customers will have to pay for extras like event tickets, coffees, or food and drink.
Write other people’s dating profiles and help them fall in love
Along the same lines, if you’re proud of your dating app skills, there’s a market to monetize your assets.
Known professionally as the “ghostwriter” of online dating, your responsibilities will range from writing a profile to managing a conversation until your client feels ready to take the reins.
Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to show up for the appointment itself. This is another profession.
Morally dubious? A little. We don’t know exactly where the boundary lies between being a ghostwriter and a catfish, but you can expect to earn between 80 and 100 euros per profile to start.