“Yes, I was invited by a friend from college, but I’m not familiar with it at all.”
I casually enjoyed a cup of tea with Sanjoji-sensei in the student guidance room. I was excited to see what kind of guidance it would be today, but surprisingly, Sanjoji-sensei came to me with a personal dilemma.
As a fellow tea-drinking companion, I wanted to be of help.
“Although I am in a position to instruct students on how to use social media, I have been hesitant because I haven’t had much experience with it.”
“However, there have been an increasing number of troubles related to social media, particularly concerning you. It’s not good to remain ignorant and clueless about it forever.”
Sanjoji-sensei is truly dedicated to education and a wonderful teacher. However, there is a generation gap when it comes to social media. I highly doubt that the social media platform Sanjoji-sensei was invited to by a friend is targeted towards teenagers. Nevertheless, it might be interesting to explore various social media platforms together and gradually learn how to use them.
“In that case, let’s start together! I’m also a beginner, so we can learn how to use it step by step. Well, I don’t think anyone will follow me, though.”
“I don’t know anyone else with as wide of a circle of friends as you…”
Leaving behind an unsatisfied feeling, as if being toyed with by a fox, I left the student guidance room and returned to the classroom.
“Yukito, you are making an account? Then, I’ll make one too! Yay! Now we’re mutual followers. Hehe. I’ll have to tell Hiori later.”
Hiori-chan is a true angel. Let’s give her some candy.
“I’ll create mine right away, so wait for me, Yuki!”
“I’ve been neglecting it for a while, but if Yukito starts, I’ll resume using it too.”
“This is big news, big news!”
When I mentioned that I would create a social media account, all my classmates followed me. It was only natural to follow each other. Some even went as far as creating an account just to follow me. Everyone in this class is so kind… sniffle
By the way, I was surprised to find out that Shakado had the highest number of followers in the class. It turns out she has a large group of insect friends. The princess of the Reptiles Circle was among them.
Having a distinct hobby might make it easier to connect with others, I guess.
“Well, I don’t think I’ll use it that frequently anyway.”
“Is that so? But why is your opening greeting ‘This is me, Yukito Kokonoe’? It’s too self-assertive. Which one is that?”
“Just something I thought sounded cool.”
At that time, I misunderstood it as a trivial matter. However, unbeknownst to me, the situation was about to escalate in an unexpected direction.
Meanwhile, in the other classes
“Have you heard about it, Yuri? I heard that your little brother made an SNS account”
“Ha? What do you mean?”
“It’s something that’s been talked about.”
“…..It’s true. What’s going on all of a sudden?”
“I followed him too, but his followers are growing so fast, it’s scary.”
“I can’t let this happen. I have to tell my mom about it right away.……”
“Is it really that important?”
“Of course it’s important.”
“What? Yukito Kokonoe started using SNS?”
“Yeah, I heard it earlier, so it’s definitely true. And look, so many classmates are following him… wait, what’s happening with the number of followers!?”
“We can’t leave it like this, Yumi. Let’s create our accounts right away!”
Even the lonely goddess…
And a certain lovey-dovey couple…
“Yukito Kokonoe, huh? Should I inform our club members? By the way, how do you even use it?”
“Toshiro, you should show some interest too…”
Even the friendly neighbor…
“Yukito-kun using SNS? Ara, and mutuals with Suzuka Sanjoji? Quite clever.”
And someone who appears to be a repentant prefectural assembly member…
“Father, it seems Kokonoe-san has started using SNS!”
“Kokonoe-sensei? Erika, we can’t leave it like this. Let’s send him flowers right away!”
“Wouldn’t that be a nuisance…”
Even in university…
“Oh, it’s Yukito-kun! Is this related to my dad’s company…?”
“Seems like something big is happening, right?”
“Honho, my honorable Nii-sama is a wonderful person. Gikyou, let’s meet again. But for now, I will endure just being able to catch a glimpse of my honorable Nii-sama’s figure.”
“Kaha! Funny. He’s so funny! Kazuki!”
“Calm down, Casesuke. Is this the rumored Bunnyman? He might be a formidable opponent.”
“Oi oi, really? Sending seafood too? Would that be a nuisance?”
“I don’t know. Let’s not do it.”
In the land of the north,
“Kuku. Is that so? I finally found you!”
Even on the outskirts of the south,
“The mainland is a long way away.”
“Good morning. What’s the matter? Why are you so flustered?”
The next day, as soon as I arrived at school, I was caught by Sanjoji-sensei and taken away.
“Haven’t you checked your account?”
“Come to think of it, we made it together yesterday, but is there something wrong with it?”
“Check it out!”
There was nothing in particular to post, no typical exaggerated stories or fictional friends that usually appear on social media, and I had no interest in impressions.
Although I created the account, I left it as it was…
“What on earth is thisssssss?!”
The number of followers exceeded four thousand. And it was still increasing in real-time.
“What the hell is going on hereeeee? What did you do?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t done anything in particular…”
I checked the replies that were coming in.
“Sensei, please take care of me from now on!”
“Um… isn’t this Representative Tojo?”
“So this is what they call a bullsh*t comment.”
It was an authenticated account with a blue badge. Given that Papa Tojo, with his long history as a representative, was sending polite greeting replies, he might be an important person, and other representatives had started following him as well. It was a confusing situation.
After all, my account was being followed by Himiyama Office, which has hundreds of thousands of followers! Why?! (perplexed)
Tristy-san was posting a selfie. As expected, I was being easily identified.
There were also numerous romantic consultations like, “I have a crush on a senior in my third year, and I want to consult with Bunnyman.” Somehow, it had been revealed that I was Bunnyman.
Dizziness struck me. What was happening behind my back?
“This is the account for the company where my mother works.”
“As expected, or rather, how should I put it… What’s happening to your circle of friends?”
While this was going on, the number of followers was approaching five thousand, and a chaotic mix of followers, including authenticated accounts with official marks, had formed.
It was hard to believe that this was the account of a single high school student.
“Ah! I’ve received some explicit DMs!”
“Don’t fall for it, Kokonoe-kun! Those are scams. It’s not even safe to look at them. Let me borrow it, I’ll delete them… Wait, it’s from Misaki-san!?”
So the sender of the DM was Himiyama-san. I’ll save that.
“But anyway, comparing to you, I feel a bit insecure. It’s not just about the numbers, and it’s not the kind of account to be publicized, but after all, I’m just an ordinary teacher.”
“Please cheer up.”
Sanjoji-sensei seemed a bit down. I have to find a way to cheer her up… Oh, I know!
“Sensei, may I do something?”
“What is it?”
“Let’s do this. [This is Sanjoji, my skirt shortens by one millimeter for every like].”
“Wait, what are you posting?!”
Like and share.
And in no time, it started growing rapidly.
“Wait a minute! What should I do with this? Three hundred likes in such a short time?! Does that mean thirty centimeters? It’s still increasing, but it’s impossible! I can’t make it any shorter! I’ve never worn anything like this even in my twenties!”
“Is that the principal…”
“I’m going to file a complaint immediately!”
The sudden surge of followers for Sanjoji-sensei, but she deleted the post, and in the end, it became a private account with only acquaintances as mutual followers.
We learned the dangers of social media and thus grew one step closer to adulthood.
“So, let’s go with forty-eight centimeters.”
“Please, do not share this, absolutely not. I mean it!”
(She is really a good person…)
It’s a secret that later on, I received an image of Sanjoji-sensei with her skirt barely above her knees.
Though there are various cultural differences, I, Yukito kokonoe, do not deny them.
It’s what we call “deculture,” and whether or not this term is understood depends on cultural differences. Diversity is not something to impose on others but something to accept ourselves.
According to my mom, it’s perfectly normal for parents and children to bathe together. This, too, is a cultural difference.
I never… even slightly… doubt it. Diversity, it’s all about diversity!
What’s wrong with being a Galapagos? It tends to be used with a negative connotation, but unique evolution is diversity in itself.
If the world were to become uniform, it would quickly meet its demise.
Japan is an island country. It has many advantages, but sometimes it’s a good experience to go overseas and broaden your horizons. Your values are likely to change significantly.
“Oh, Yukito-kun, you’re here! Come over here! I was just washing Papa’s car.”
“I can’t believe it actually exists, a bikini car wash!”
Tristy-san, wearing a bikini with a hoodie over it, welcomes me with a sponge in her hand.
A bikini car wash is a peculiar culture of overseas partygoers where they wash cars in bikinis to prevent their clothes from getting wet. It’s often seen in B-horror movies.
Of course, since it’s a B-horror movie, all the partygoers get killed. But don’t worry. This is Japan. Tristy-san’s safety is ensured. Let’s spare the splatter, shall we?
Tristy-san’s house is a mansion. It seems she’s an ojou-sama.
Mio-san and I were invited by Tristy-san to a home party.
They’re planning to have a BBQ in the garden. It’s a small delight to experience cultural differences. I’ve only seen Americanized home parties in movies.
In the Kokonoe household, we once had a pajama party, but I was the only one wearing pajamas. That’s a serious violation of the rules. I mindlessly kept drinking champagne.
“We’ve been waiting for you. Come this way.”
Tristy-san’s mom greets us with a calm smile.
“We’ve been waiting for you, cool guy! Have a great time today!”
“Thank you for inviting me. I bought a cake as a souvenir.”
“Oh… cool guy! You don’t have to worry, but thanks anyway. Now, let’s start the BBQ!”
I’m caught by a Texan hat-wearing, broad-shouldered, golden-haired daddy, and he pulls me along forcefully.
Everyone can tell at first glance that he’s an American dad, with a appearance that screams it. Without any objections, that’s exactly what he is. He looks like he could be in a Western movie, the kind of American dad that anyone would recognize at a glance.
He’s a cheerful old man, but when he came to apologize to our house after Tristy-san’s bicycle accident, both she and Tristy-san’s parents had such pale faces, as if we were about to say, “Prepare for seppuku!”
If the settlement hadn’t been reached, it would have left a big scar on Tristy-san’s record. It must have been a solemn determination. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, and I didn’t take legal action.
Tristy-san and her family repeated their apologies in tears, and afterwards, we became friends with a twist of fate. As a result, I’m invited to this home party. Life is unpredictable.
“Yaa, nice to meet you for the first time. Sorry for the trouble my sister caused.”
An insanely handsome guy, whose facial attractiveness cannot be measured, approaches me and starts talking. He’s the enemy. I become needlessly rebellious.
“How are you going to settle this? Aah?”
“Eeh!? Is this the unique Japanese way of settling things…? Well, how about I give you my sister then?”
“Leon! What are you saying!”
Tristy-san is indignant at the sudden suggestion of human trafficking. I feel a cultural difference between overseas and Japan. It’s quite disturbing.
“By the way, Yukito-kun… if I remember correctly? Can I talk to you for a moment?”
I’m called by Leon-san and we move to a corner.
“I wanted to say that I’m grateful. I heard you were feeling down after the accident, just like Tristy. I told her not to worry, that it will be fine.”
“I wasn’t injured, so there’s no need to worry.”
“I still want to apologize again. I’m really sorry. Thank you for forgiving my sister. I hope you can continue to get along with her. —I-I’d also like to talk to you about something else…….”
Leon-san suddenly becomes hesitant and keeps glancing at Mio-san.
This super handsome guy unexpectedly seems to have a shy side.
“Can someone tell me who that beautiful and delicate woman with you is?”
Could it be that he’s fallen for Mio-san at first sight? Is this really happening?
Ugh, this is what they say about handsome guys!
Once again, I feel the difference in cultures.
The authentic BBQ was amazing. First of all, the meat was different. Instead of cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces like in Korean BBQ, they grilled it vigorously without caring about that. They cut thick steaks dripping with juices and put them in their mouths. The sausages were also unusually big. Cultural differences always feel refreshing.
As we talked about various things, I learned that Tristy’s dad is an executive at a certain Japanese branch of a major social media company. The previous management team, who had been running the huge social media platform at a loss, was completely replaced through an acquisition. The majority of employees in the Japanese branch were also laid off, and Tristy’s dad, who had been hoping to transfer to Japan, was dispatched from the headquarters to rebuild the company.
“Oh, Dad! Yukito-kun also made an account!”
Tristy shows her dad my account, and he opens his eyes wide.
“Cool guy, are you an influencer!?”
“I never intended to be…”
Unbeknownst to me, my account had surpassed ten thousand followers.
Not to mention, I started receiving offers for corporate PR campaigns. I’m just a high school student. It’s overwhelming.
Helpless and overwhelmed by the growing number of followers, I can only tremble in fear.
“Urban legends? Mysterious person? From teenagers to corporations and politicians… These are not bots, but real followers. HAHAHA! Interesting! Who are you? I will verify your account right away! I might even ask Crazy Guy for some work in the future!”
American Dad was in a good mood and called someplace on his phone, and a few minutes later, my account was verified and my blue badge was shining. It’s too fast. It’s a cultural difference.
“Hey, don’t bother Yukito-kun! I’m sorry, it seems like this person is getting carried away.”
“Wait a minute! Crazy Guy is a talent worth grabbing! We must secure him now and–“
“Alright, alright. Let’s save the work talk for another time, okay?”
Whether it was due to the alcohol or other reasons, the boisterous American dad who was pestering me was taken away by his reserved wife, who gently pushed him along. It seems that having a strong wife is a universally shared cultural trait.
“Sorry for the trouble caused by my dad! Right! Let’s take a selfie together!”
“The cause of the explosive increase in followers is right here?!”
Tristy and I posted a selfie with a heart sign. It immediately sparked controversy.
“Hey, hey, Yukito-kun. Why is this company’s account following you, Yukito-kun? Is there some connection between the two of you?”
“Oh, this company? My mom works there.”
Mio scrolled through her phone screen and pointed to a company that looked familiar.
“No way! That company is my dream! It’s my top choice, and I’m actually going there for an internship soon.”
“Is that so? They’re always complaining about being short-staffed, so if you’d like, I can pass on the message.”
“But… is it really okay?”
Not just for Mio, but if I could help my mom too, there was no reason to refuse.
“Modesty is not always a virtue. Listen, young lady. Besides academic achievement, having connections is also a form of power. Do you understand what it takes to succeed? It’s luck. It’s about seizing the opportunity at the right moment. Meeting Crazy Guy was also your luck. So don’t let chances slip away.”
“He’s getting involved again so quickly. Honestly. It seems like he’s taken a liking to Yukito-kun. Look, he’s strutting around energetically. You should drink some water and sober up a bit, or he might dislike you.”
“That would be terrible!”
The American dad was once again taken away.
“Then, can I ask you a favor?”
“Mio-san helped me before.”
“You’re such a conscientious person. It was just a minor incident, so you don’t have to worry about it.”
“I can’t let that happen.”
Mio-san didn’t just save me. President Kedou and Mikumo-Senpai were also saved.
If the commotion had continued to escalate, they wouldn’t have been safe either. The relationship between the president and me would have become irreparable and strained.
“By the way, Tristy-san, have you decided on your job after graduation?”
“Job… Well, to be honest, I still can’t imagine it at all.”
Tristy-san looked downcast and muttered quietly. Her expression was gloomy.
“When we were kids, we were always asked about our dream occupation, right? I always struggled with that. I never really had anything I wanted to do. Papa says I should take my time, but while everyone else is preparing and working towards their goals, I feel like I’m being left behind.”
Anxiety about the future, self-questioning, and a lost sense of purpose.
Entering society means embarking on a journey without a clear path.
I couldn’t help but admire Tristy-san. I thought she was an admirable person. Doubt could be her nourishment.
“As for me, I’ve never really thought about the future. I’ve been living in the present, just trying to get by. I didn’t have the luxury to ponder about the future. I even thought I’d just live a mediocre life and die without achieving anything.”
A worried expression. Tristy-san’s future should be bright. She’s so serious about it.
“It’s okay to wander. It’s okay to take detours. Even when you’re fifty or sixty years old, it’s not too late to find something you want to do. Life is long. I don’t think the only correct answer is to reach your goals in the shortest distance possible.”
I remember my family, childhood friends, and classmates. I took many detours, made many side trips, and once gave up, but still, little by little, I started to understand them and come closer.
There’s no such thing as a wasted experience. Not even Tristy-san’s worries or the time we spend like this.
No one knows the future. How many people graduate from university, find a job, and continue in the same company, doing the same work until retirement? It’s just a matter of convenience.
We are living in the present, not in a potential future.
“That’s why… let’s enjoy it, okay?”
“You know, you’re like a calming pill or something. Talking to you makes me feel at ease, and you’re a good listener. I can imagine people coming to you with various problems.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Just a hunch.”
Mio-san displayed her exceptional deductive reasoning skills, the American father returned and tried to get Tristy-san to join his company’s PR department, Leon-san was lightly dealt with, and the lively and fun home party continued until nightfall.
…I ate too much. I’ll refrain from meat for a while.