Do you think that a family can be rented? In fact, there is a booming industry, ‘rent-a-family’, in many
countries now to cater to the needs of lonely people. Want to know why such an industry would appear
and grow? Read on!
Before we delve into the impacts of the phenomenon, let’s look at why this industry was developed. In my
opinion, people would like to hire a family because they have a natural wish to have one. It’s not difficult to
understand that everyone wants to be loved, taken care of and surrounded by their beloved family
members. Especially when one’s on special occasions when everyone else is with their happy family,
wouldn’t it be embarrassing, awkward and saddening if you’re still single and alone? In order to help
alleviate the embarrassment, people seek help from such companies where they can borrow a family.
What’s more? Many countries are family-oriented. No matter in China, Japan or even some western
countries, parents would like their children to get married and have a happy family with a couple of kids. At
the same time, ironically, the rising awareness of the idea of individualism has led quite a majority of
young adults to stay single, particularly the occupationally successful ones who perceive a family as a heavy
burden. In the hope of getting rid of the worries from their dear parents, as well as the embarrassment
they get at family gatherings, renting a family can be a way out. They can show that they’re not only
successful in their career, but at the same time have a close family that makes everyone else jealous. And
most importantly, they can stay single and trouble-free in reality! See how attractive and useful this service
is? No wonder this industry can boom!
When talking about the impact on the economy of one place, this thriving industry is obviously a new way
of making money that could provide more employment opportunities. Nonetheless, everything has its
upside and downside. In the meantime, this trend also poses an undesirable impact on society. A family
member is meant to be the closest, dearest and the most sincere person, right? Nevertheless, the ‘family
members’ that you rent are not the case! They are basically ‘strangers’, who may barely know your name!
Acting close and having intimate relationship with them only temporarily is not appropriate, which is likely
to twist the meaning of a family. If those strangers are to be called your family, how can we define the
word ‘family’? What’s more, family members are incredibly precious, and are undeniably the most
important people in one’s life. Hence, there is no way they can be traded. As shown, the meaning of a
family is seriously distorted by the trend of renting a family.
You may now have a clearer understanding of the industry, so do you think this trend will grow in Hong
Kong in the future? Well, I think so! As we all know, it’s beyond disputes that more and more working
adults in Hong Kong relish the freedom they have when staying single. Many of them choose not to get
married as they hope to focus solely on their jobs and be free from burden. At the same time, most of their
parents are indulged in the Chinese traditional culture, of which the importance of forming a family is
incredibly emphasised. Hoping to ease the worries their parents have, they may like to choose to rent a
boyfriend/girlfriend, or even a husband/wife to disguise that they’re having a happy family. In fact, the
trend of having part-time girlfriends/boyfriends has shown the potential of such industry.
Well, even though there is such a demand in the industry, I personally do not agree with the act of renting
a family. What about you?