It started out innocently enough: Me. Bored at home. Experimenting with Snapchat filters. (You know, the face-recognition filters that turn you into a dog, panda, or a drag queen.)
But, before I knew it, I'd concocted an imaginary personality (hello 'Awkward Tim') together with accompanying new imaginary friends (introducing 'Arrogant Rob' and 'Zheng Fen'). Hours of self-entertainment (not that kind of self-entertainment) ensued; albeit, intermittently interrupted by knocks on my bedroom door by housemates checking if I had lost it: "Norman, you're shouting in different voices."
It's been a week since 'Awkward Tim' was born (see image above) — the deluded Asian boy that loves jazz and desperately longs to be cool, but suffers from an enlarged 'prosperous nose' — and he's already getting multiple friend requests. He's so popular, that when I post my normal snaps, I'm reprimanded for not Snapchatting about Tim ("Enough of your coffees and fruit bowls Norman. What is Tim up to today?) followed by questions about his friends ("Why is 'Arrogant Rob' so mean?", "Is Zheng Fen from mainland China?"). My response: Tim only comes out at night; I guess Rob is just a bully; and, I never really thought about where Zheng Fen is from.
Truth be told, I'm so used to seeing my face filtered and contorted as 'Awkward Tim', that when I saw my own face in the phone today, I almost didn't recognise myself. Of course, it didn't help that a colleague wistfully remarked: "I wish Tim was real. I like Tim more than you, Norman." See, further proof that workplace bullying at Buro 24/7 Singapore is real.
For those who haven't given Snapchat filters a spin — you're missing out on the company of friends that you don't even know exist yet! What are you waiting for? Whip out your phone and start talking to yourself, pronto. And for those who haven't met Awkward Tim, here's an introduction...
EPISODE 1: AWKWARD TIM LOVES JAZZ, DO YOU LIKE JAZZ?
EPISODE 2: MEET AWKWARD TIM'S FRIENDS — ARROGANT ROB AND ZHENG FEN
EPISODE 3: AWKWARD TIM GOES TO A PARTY
Note: Upon self-reflection, I realised that Awkward Tim, Arrogant Rob and Zheng Fen are just exaggerated facets of my own personality. But, if only I had Tim's appeal with the ladies...