Homo erectus but online

Throwing a friend out of space, sending garbage lines, defusing the bomb, and lounging in Discord channels seem to be the new routine of friendship in this online lifestyle.

Throwing a friend out of space, sending garbage lines, defusing the bomb, and lounging in Discord channels seem to be the new routine of friendship in this online lifestyle.

Without the regular classes and dormitory lifestyle, the melting pot of Cagayan Valley, that is the Philippine Science High School – Cagayan Valley Campus, seemed to be out of fuel. The dynamic of social interactions have been adversely affected. With the current academic situation and mobilization restriction, Pisayers are scattered in the region with technology as a tool to rediscover fire.

The pandemic has forced the student body to adapt digitally. Using social media platforms for communication is not a novel concept. But now that we have become dependent on this practice, chatting and video calling seemed repetitive and tiresome. With the goal to communicate with friends, the boundaries of digital creativity are pushed.

In an attempt to recreate the classroom setting, online study sessions are conducted with friends.  It almost embodies learning filled with random talks. Gabrielle Abad of 11-Altair shares that their academic discussions help her associate with her friends. “Since we are research groupmates, I barely feel the change as we do call each other often,” she added.

But the present course of online friendship morphs with online cooperative games. Various multiplayer game genres including FPS, RPG, and strategy often involve different players or even a distinct side of a friend. This form of entertainment fosters small communities of participating individuals catering to the maintenance or creation of friendships.

“Many party games and digital platforms emerged, and we coped by following these trends,” mentions Bernard Tapiru Jr., a video game enthusiast, regarding his online activities with his friends.

Inviting friends through a link in the group chat starts the interaction. Gameplays and in-game communications fulfill relationships. But see, friendships are beyond internet lags and trash talks. In this time where we rely on digital means, reaching non-online friends could be one of the things we have to reconnect to. 

Humans are adaptable creatures. Fixing the spaceship as crewmates and battling a match of Tetris for bragging rights have been a few of the procedures in stepping closer to light and heat. The rediscovery of fire continues.

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