Rants on Romance: Ernesto Platas and Brigette Bilderback


Ernesto Platas (right) and Brigette Bilderback (left) got to know each other via social media prior to dating. PHOTO//BRIGETTE BILDERBACK

Jaela Dodson, Features Editor

Living in the digital age it is not uncommon for college students to hide behind a phone. The digital age has drastically changed how everyone communicates with each other. Asking someone out on a date nowadays is too overwhelming and straightforward. So what’s the new guide to dating?

Senior Ernesto Platas and Sophomore Brigette Bilderback met in study hall in the Student Success Center (Lane Hall) fall of 2020. Platas initially noticed Bilderback leaving Purcell while he was walking to soccer practice. When Platas first saw Bilderback, he simply just wanted her name. It was when Bilderback crossed paths with Platas again that he wanted to know more about her. Trying to figure out who this new girl was, Platas had his “wingman” approach and invite Bilderback to a party he was hosting that weekend.

“That’s my best friend right there. Since that party, I knew I wanted to get to know her more. My favorite thing about her is her voice, sometimes I call her just to hear her voice; it’s beautiful,” said senior marketing major Ernesto Platas.

A common use of social media is investigating things you want to know about a person. It has become normal to do research through social media before going out with someone. Investigating through social media is fairly easy to do because of the content young adults interact with. A person’s social media bio and their posts can tell you a significant amount about them including their relationship status.

“He doesn’t have Instagram, but he used his friend’s page to track down my mine,” said Sophomore, Brigette Bilderback.

Platas put it into context, “I was trying to make sure she looked good. She looked cute but I needed to find out if she was single or not.” said Senior, Ernesto Platas.

The popular social network Snapchat is becoming a core communication outlet for young adults. The ability to continuously swipe from photo sharing to chat increases the potential of sharing. The feature of “story sharing” offers a glimpse into what someone is doing without having to directly communicate with that person. Many agree Snapchat is a more casual way of communicating and offers more things regular texting does not.

“We didn’t even have each other’s number. I didn’t even get his number until we were already official for about three weeks,” said Bilderback, a sophomore early education major.  “We basically only Snapchatted or texted through Snap during the start of our relationship.”

College students, according to Insider.com, believe giving out a phone number is too personal. Asking for someone’s Snapchat has become a common phrase but, Snapchat is not a real platform for communication. Snapchat in particular has become the basis of getting to know if you like a person or not before asking for a phone number. The main reason young adults use Snapchat is because of its convenience. The ability to interchange the chat feature and the photo-sharing feature is enjoyable for college students. If a message is too long to fit on the screen, the chat function allows the user to slide over to chat and finish the message. With story features, young adults enjoy updating their followers with the latest happenings in their life. For couples, posting the other on your story is sometimes considered “the big reveal” of your relationship.

“My close friends that I talk to every day knew about him. I posted Ernesto on my story and all my friends from back home slid up asking who he was and when it happened,” said elementary education major Brigette Bilderback.

As Platas graduates in Spring of 2022, the couple is looking to plan their future together. Platas, who does not like separation, is looking for job opportunities in Texas but is unsteady about being so far away from Bilderback. However, the couple feels their relationship is strong enough to make it. After Bilderback graduates, the pair wish to get married, move to an area with lots of land and animals, have kids and continue their lives together.