For most people, technology has, bit by bit, been easing itself into everyday life. We get less and less surprised as each new advancement seems to be just a tiny itty-bit better than the last. So what happens when you take fully functioning technology that is totally immersed in popular culture, multiply it by three, and unleash it on a new soul? One who hasn’t a clue on what liking, tweeting, and stickers mean?
Louie Go is a Business Management sophomore in DLSU, and before entering his second year in college; he never had a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. I first learned about Louie from a conversation with a friend. We were having a normal everyday conversation about the behavior of electrons passing through slits similar to the Copenhagen Interpretation, when suddenly, with the purpose of writing this article, I asked him if he knew anybody who had never had a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, but had shown interest in creating one upon reaching the second year of college. My friend knew about five people. One of them was Louie.
Louie decided to meet with me to talk about the exciting new experience in a coffee shop across from school. I walked into the cafe and noticed that Louie had not ordered anything yet. I decided to sit next to him and also order nothing because he might have been on a diet and I did not want to offend him.
He shared that he was pretty excited about this mini adventure that he was about to embark on. “It’s pretty cool getting those first few waves of friend requests and follows, even if you haven’t posted anything yet,” Louie claimed. I was in the middle of asking if he planned on downloading any stickers on Facebook when a waiter prompted us to leave if we had no plans of ordering anything immediately. Not wanting any coffee or valiums, we decided to leave.
We finished our conversation outside, and agreed that it would be best if he would first take a few weeks to really immerse himself in the social media culture before we continued the interview. He told me he would message me on Facebook when he was ready to meet up again. I let out a chuckle after I heard this as he tickled me goodbye. Before
leaving, he thanked me for not ordering anything, explaining that he was actually on a diet.
I walked back towards school, excited to hear from him and his adventures.
Eight months passed without hearing a word from Louie.
Fearing the absolute worst that he might have simply forgotten about the interview, I decided to move on. I had begun a new chapter in my life and was getting comfortable ordering from coffee shops again when the unexpected happened. I was walking around Yuchengco Lobby when, at a distance, I saw a young man that completely resembled Louie, except with slightly shorter hair.
Surely that could not have been the same man I had met eight months ago? But I had to be sure. There was a little thing inside of me saying it had to be him. That little thing was common sense.
I walked up to the probable Louie Go imposter, placed my hands on his head, and wiggled my fingers slowly to get an idea on what this person would look like with longer hair. To my surprise, I realized it was Louie, and I was relieved to have found him. He decided to sit with me and discuss all the crazy things that had happened to him in the last eight months.
He went right into explaining why he was not able to contact me like we agreed. He mentioned getting into the wrong crowd when he joined a Facebook group called “Ps4 buy/$ell Baclaran”. He soon learned that, to his shock, the whole PlayStation bit was a cover for underground gambling. He knew he was in trouble when he learned that not only was the gambling illegal, it was also being held nowhere near Baclaran. I asked him if he had downloaded any new stickers on Facebook. He refused to answer and continued with his story.
He found himself swimming in a debt that could not be paid. He claimed that it wasn’t his fault because the Facebook group had a strange system in placing bets. “Every like or comment is a P1000 bet!” he proclaimed. Even seeing a post was double-or-nothing, according to Louie.
He went on to tell me more about this group, but he always stopped himself whenever he realized he might be giving too much information on who the head of this whole organization might be. Growing impatient with Louie, I pulled out my I-phone and showed him some of my favorite stickers to see if he had similar taste as me. He stared blankly into my face before continuing with his story.
Fun with emojis
Even with his best efforts, he could not hide from these people. Whenever he would tweet about how the hot weather was no match for his Mocha Frappuccino, the members of the gambling group would retweet “pay up bro”. Whenever he would post a poorly-lit, hastily filtered picture of his hotdog and rice breakfast on Instagram, the same people would comment the emoji for money next to the emoji of a gun. He copy-pasted the emojis into Google translate, and it said, “pay up bro”.
I knew I had to do something so I unfriended Louie from Facebook and never talked to him again. I could not unfollow him on Twitter or Instagram because I did not have accounts for either of the two. This made me wonder what it would have been like if I had just written this entire article from my own point of view instead.