Published on February 24, 2014 | by Kasia Cunningham-Murray0
How to get slightly richer using the internet
We are a generation accustomed to fad trends that take the world by storm – the half shaven heads, selfies (apparently now acceptable behaviour at funerals) and the classic Instagram #foodporn, which sees people place the photographing of food as more important than the actual eating of it.
But who would have thought that a fad could make you a monthly wage?
Park Seo-yeon, 34, better known to her fans as ‘The Diva’, is a South Korean woman who earns up to £5,600 a month by streaming herself eating online, and is surprisingly still perfectly thin.
The Diva has taken ‘food porn’ to a new level by turning an unusual online trend into hard earned cash, and has even been able to give up her job at a consultancy firm to focus her energy on live streaming herself eating.
Park, who has been doing the show for three years, can spend up to three hours a night in front of the camera, while thousands watch as she serves up and eats excessively large meals in her flat.
With viewers being able to chat with her and send her virtual balloons that translate into cash, she makes thousands each month through advertising and donations.
Not bad for just sitting around eating.
Speaking to Reuters, Park gave her own ideas as to why the show is so popular: “People enjoy the vicarious pleasure with my online show when they can’t eat that much, or don’t want to eat food at night, or are on a diet.”
“Loneliness is another crucial factor,” Park said. “The show is addictive as you can communicate with thousands of people at home.”
The trend, given the name gastronomic voyeurism, has become the latest fad in South Korea, with up to 3,500 people hosting their own online eating shows, sponsored by restaurants. Some say it makes eating alone feel less awkward, in a country where one-person households are on the rise.
Park said she began broadcasting herself eating dinner because she was “bored and needed a hobby.”
The show seems to have accomplished more than just entertaining people, as Park says: “It feels great when people say ‘I have overcome anorexia thanks to you’, or ‘I’m in a hospital doing or eating nothing but thanks to your show I can have a fun and delicious time in this weary place,’ or ‘I lost eight kilograms as I could feel the vicarious satisfaction with you eating’.”
These videos have now swept YouTube, where they have several thousand views and people all over the world giving it a try.
For people feeling experimental and a little short on money, here is a list of other weird ways that people make money online, and where to go if you want to give it a try. However, some are not the most tasteful of activities. You have been warned:
- Sell your friendship: RentaFriend.com is a website where you can literally rent a friend. Simply rent out your friendship to local people who want to hang out, go to a movie or to a party or event (yes it sounds a little sad, I know). RentaFriend sounds very familiar to an escort service but don’t worry, they make it clear on their website that they are not.
- Sell your unmentionables: To most, this is just plain disgusting. However, this oddball way of making money actually works. Websites like SellPantiesForMoney.com and Pantydeal.com are places where women can sell their used underwear to buyers who can offer specifications such as how long they’re worn. Offers with pictures of you wearing said panties tend to make more money.
- Make fun of movies: An awesome way of making money. I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve seen those videos of people putting voice overs or editing parts of movies to mock them (search ‘bad lip reading’ on YouTube), which are hilarious. If you can create MP3 files of yourself of doing exactly that, then you can post it on a site called RiffTrax.com to make money. You can even set your own rate and get paid if anyone chooses to buy it.
- Sell your hair: This will come as no shock to most, but there are websites where you can sell your hair…providing you’re brave enough! If you have at least ten inches of healthy hair that is not permed, bleached or dyed, and you are a non-smoker, then you could make some money! Hairharvest.co.uk, which has featured on the BBC’s The One Show, is part of the company Bloomsbury Wigs, which specialises in cosmetic hair replacement solutions including designer, handmade wigs or hair loss wigs. You can sell your hair depending on the condition and length and there are plenty more places to sell your locks with a bit of research.
- Sell pretty much anything: Fivesquids.co.uk is a website where you can pretty much sell any of your skills from £5 and up, from helping someone get 20,000 followers on Facebook to doing someone’s homework – anything you can do, you can sell.