While some may have made lifelong friends in high school, others would rather go out and forge their own destinies after they graduate—destinies that don’t include interacting with former classmates when they’re out and about.
The latter desire is one that TikTok creator Kemani (@thekidke_) expressed in a viral video that’s garnered over 1.5 million views since it was posted on Wednesday.
Kemani writes in a text overlay of the video: “Me acting like I don’t know the cashier even though I went to school with them for years.”
He then records himself in front of a green screen image of a McDonald’s lobby, pantomiming throwing money down while checking his watch and avoiding eye contact.
One viewer who saw the video posted about the interaction from an employee’s perspective, and they didn’t seem too bothered by Kemani’s actions. “As a cashier Imma act right with you,” they wrote.
Another cashier in the comments section echoed this sentiment, writing, “same as a cashier we pretending we don’t know yall.”
For some commenters, the avoidance seemed to be an attempt to evade a potentially awkward discussion: “I be praying that [they] don’t try to make conversation with me,” one wrote.
Another viewer said they tried to pretend they didn’t remember someone from school, but the person wouldn’t allow them to: “I tried to do this but the guy would not accept it he forced me to acknowledge that I remembered him.”
But another said people were doing themselves a disservice by not acknowledging classmates at their workplaces: “Y’all missing out on discounts,” they said.
One viewer summed up the sentiment Kemani was presumably expressing in his video, writing: “Just cuz we went to school together don’t make us friends as adults.”
The phenomenon of treating former classmates as ghosts seems to be oft-discussed online.
Redditor @soda_popped made a post on the site’s TrueOffMyChest community that received over 16,000 upvotes titled, “I love not knowing people from highschool anymore.”
In the post, @soda_popped delved into their decision to never interact with anyone from high school again: “I love who I am now, and I just don’t think I’d be their type of person anymore. I feel like I went from a party gossiper to a creative homebody. The friendships I’ve cultivated in the last 6 years have been more healthy and loving than any of my high school friends,” they wrote.
The Redditor added that they went so far as to delete their social media accounts after graduating high school and only created new accounts to share with their new friends.
The Daily Dot contacted Kemani via email for further comment.