By: Victoria Lopatka
A few days ago, I was on YouTube when a video called “Instagram Followers Control Our Lives for 24 Hours” by a channel called Yes Theory popped up. The video features YouTubers getting tattoos and piercings, travelling to Paris and Dublin, sleeping on strangers’ couches, taking the train across new cities, and barely making it onto their last-minute planes — all on the whim of their followers. In other words, I didn’t find it very relatable. With a full course load, a job, and minimal spending money, my daily life was incredibly different than the guys of Yes Theory, but it got me wondering: what kind of choices would my followers make for me? What type of people follow me and are they going to be charitable . . . or cruel? Would they push me out of my comfort zone? I decided to let my followers make my decisions for a day, from what I ate, to what I wore, to what I did with my free time.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so of course, I was going to let my followers pick what I ate. Normally, I’d eat something along the lines of toast, waffles,
eggs, fruit, and if I had time, I’d be extra and make a smoothie bowl. I don’t usually go out for breakfast because I don’t want to put on pants and go outside until at least 10:30. I was thinking that my followers would for sure would pick the Timbits. I know when I vote on other people’s polls, I always vote for the least healthy and most crazy/embarrassing option. With 84% of votes going towards smoothie and toast, apparently karma is not coming for me today. I whipped up a mango banana apple smoothie, and since I didn’t have toast (booooooooo) I had a bowl of Cinnamon TOAST Crunch instead. Overall, a pretty balanced breakfast. I definitely tried harder to follow other poll options to a T after this toast scandal, though.
As I waited for my followers to vote, I watched the snow twirl downwards outside, as the
temperatures dropped to -5, or something frigid like that. I pictured myself trudging across campus in a skirt. My followers, though, are very kind people, and 75% of them voted for a comfy hoodie and black leggings AKA what I wear every single day of my life.
THIS POLL WAS SO NERVE-WRACKING. The other two had a clear winner within a few hours in, but this one was neck and neck until the last minute. Couch potato. Gym. Couch potato. Gym. In the end, a mere 49% voted for the gym, so I got to stay home and do absolutely nothing productive or healthy between classes. Normally, I’m equally likely to do either option, but this snow and cold has got me in hibernation mode, so I was perfectly content to stay in my room. On my way to class, I even had time to stop by the fire pits to roast a marshmallow, which I don’t usually do since I’m busy rushing between class/gym/groceries/class.
62% of voters urged me to stay home, so I did. I did a face mask. I took a shower. I changed into some sweats and a baggy shirt. I read 50 pages of a novel I’m trying to read for fun. I also started a new show called “End of the F***ing World” on Netflix, which my friends have been recommending for a while. It was nice to chill and take some time to do things I normally don’t have time for. My followers seemed to be on a trend of keeping me comfortable, warm, and content.
I have exactly one class where I don’t know anybody, CRIM 210. I couldn’t find anyone on SFU Facebook groups or in my friend group who was taking it, so I just sit with different people every class. It’s kind of nice to just chill and have my morning Starbucks in peace, but 76% of voters wanted me to talk to someone. I arrived a little late to lecture and then class began, so I didn’t really have an opportunity to speak to anyone. We had a five-minute break which is exactly the amount of time it takes me to walk from my classroom in West Mall Centre to the bathroom and back. Then, in the last five minutes of class, a golden opportunity, a conversation-starter: a few fellow classmates were having a heated debate about the gender difference in youth criminality, and one guy in particular was getting INTENSE. I exchanged looks with the girl beside me, one of those: “This is really uncomfortable for me. Are you feeling the discomfort too? Can we leave?” After class, we joked and talked about it, swapping opinions on the debate and how unnecessarily intense it got. Does that count as making a friend? I’ve sat with her again since that first exchange, so I think it counts.
Pretty self-explanatory: I had an extra hour to study since my professor came down with the flu and I wanted a good study spot. 58% of followers suggested the library, so I managed to snag a table in the group study section and studied there. Pros: didn’t have to buy a drink to sit there, volume level wasn’t too noisy, and outlets were plentiful.
First of all, I learned that I could deposit a cheque via a picture on the RBC app and that’s really exciting. So, naturally, I’m going to celebrate this discovery by spending my newly earned money. I had an $10 Amazon gift card, so I decided to buy some things off my wishlist there, spending way more than my $10 gift card. I got a blue hand-knit mermaid-tail shaped blanket and the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson.
I’m not really a fan of looking like a crazy person in public, generally. Not only was I looking super greasy with an old CRIM FROSH shirt and some weird patterned sweats (they’re comfy, OK?), but I was also now carrying a giant stuffed animal. In university. To class. When my friend saw me, she immediately asked if it was for a Peak article. Another girl who helped me take a picture described the scene as “extra” (but, like, in a nice way) and didn’t ask questions. I’m not sure what my classmates must have thought. Thanks, 70% of my followers.
I’m a sucker for a good back rub and my boyfriend is not only great at it, but he’s patient enough to give me like 12 per week. I’m very tense, OK? I, on the other hand, have zero patience and non-magical hands, but I still thought it would be interesting to switch roles, if my followers saw it fit. TL;DR: they didn’t. Only 23% felt Brendon deserved a sub-par back rub from me. Instead, I got an awesome one from him.
“You’re going to regret that,” my boyfriend said, as I published the final poll option.
“Why? It’s fun,” I protested.
“They’re going to vote that you go to bed at 2 a.m., and we both know you’re going to hate that.”
He has a point. If I get any less than eight hours of sleep per night, I function about as well as the undead. I normally go to bed around 10:30 p.m. and get my full eight to nine hours. This was yet another nerve-wracking poll, as the numbers stayed around 50/50 for most of the time I had it up. Was it weird to go to bed so early? A little. I had to sort of abruptly finish my day when I remembered, shut my laptop, get on my PJs, and just head to bed. I did get a really, really good night sleep, though.
So, in the end, I didn’t get a new tattoo or fly to an European city, but I did get some much-needed relaxation time, made a new friend in one of my lectures, and got a great night’s sleep. It might not sound like much, but when you think about it, isn’t that the stuff that we all need a little bit more of?