Rich Kids - The $1000 Per Month Social Network

Rich Kids
Would social media have come anywhere near as far if it wasn't free? No, absolutely not. The word 'social' tends to lose a bit of traction when slap a 'Members Only' sign across the door and park yourself outside with card machine and a fire hose.

Sure, some services offer more options for those willing to pay a small subscription fee, but putting up a big iron gate in front of your social media platform and then charging $1000 per month to open it? Sheer, grotesque elitism. Oh, it's called Rich Kids, well fair enough then.

The new platform launched on Tuesday, and it's supposedly geared towards giving the wealthy elite 'a voice', since lord knows they were quiet before. The founders of the platform claim that richer folk get a bit of a raw deal on social media, because most other people aren't rich, and don't necessarily respond well to people who are. Fancy that.

But wait, it's all for the greater good (the greater good). Rich Kids founder Juraj Ivan has claimed that one third of the membership profits will go to the "education of poor kids". A cynic might suggest that such a thing isn't really an act of charity, but just a thin guise of generosity used to halfheartedly obscure the bloated affluence of the business model. Oh wait, I just did say that, I guess I'm a cynic then.

It's hard not to be cynical, or deeply depressed when you hear about something like this. I don't have any direct issue with the wealthy, but the idea that they're put upon, or that they need a special place to brag about all their expensive stuff without fear of being told what selfish assholes they are is pretty insulting to the rest of us.

Technically, anyone can sign up to Rich Kids, but only those paying the fees can post. So basically, the less fortunate can join, and then they can look on as the richer members post images of their Lamborghinis, Dubai apartments and solid gold toilet seats. This is starting to sound like some kind of satirical social experiment. I wish it was.

I actually downloaded it myself and had a look through. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect, an Instagram clone with pictures of people at parties, by pools, posing in new outfits made of some life form so endangered that even breathing near it should be illegal, cars made of diamond filament harvested from the moon, oh and a woman feeding alcohol to a pig on the beach. I don't know either. Also, all the pictures are in golden gilded frames, feel free to stop reading until you've finished retching.

I'd probably have less of a problem with this if it was just a closed loop. If rich kids want a private forum where they can sit around throwing money down a hole to fund a digital circlejerk then they're free to do so, but letting people join in 'spectator mode' for free just gives the whole thing a grim, upsetting aspirational bend.

I'm not expecting it to reshape anyone's outlook on life, mind you, the free users who do join, either out of morbid curiosity or drunken curiosity will probably log on once and then get bored after about 15 minutes. It's more the principle that's the issue, not the lousy execution.

Ask almost anyone if they have any horror stories about rich people and they'll have something to offer you, even if it's just an offhand comment like "Yeah this penthouse suite reminds me of the one I have in Venice", it leaves you feeling like you need to take a shower.

If a subset of rich people feel like it's an injustice that they can't brag about being rich without feeling like a victimised minority, they're more than welcome to pay for their own space to do so. Just don't ask us not to mock you for it, how could we ever not.

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