The age of e-begging and internet panhandling is upon us. It's not uncommon to see folks post their Cash App, Venmo, or Zelle information in their profile blurbs. And it's not like they're necessarily trying to collect donations for a specific hardship (other than life in general), they're just straight-up asking for money because they're, well, existing.
There's also been a lot of criticism of folks who've committed themselves to live the e-lifestyle of a "content creator" without really creating great content that earns them enough money to be independently wealthy. Take this Influencer who cried because she says she can't work a 9-5 job after their Instagram account was report-bombed and taken down.
And then you have folks like this one gentleman who recently went viral on Twitter thanks to a user who posts under the handle @skonkas0nly. In the photo, the man appears to be lugging around a cart loaded with coolers, a jug of what appears to be ice tea, and a bunch of other snacks for sale. He's also selling street corn for $2.50 a pop and accepts Zelle, as shown in a big sign plastered on the back of his mobile yum station.
@skonkas0nly thought it'd be a good idea to snap a photo of the man's phone number, encouraging folks to just Zelle him for no reason because he was out on the street putting in that wholesome hustle.
Folks ultimately came through and throngs of folks sent money the gentleman's way. He was so alarmed by the sheer number of transactions that he was receiving that he ended up taking the day off to go to the bank and suss out whatever it was that was going on in his account. He wanted to make sure the transactions were legitimate.
The individual who worked at the bank assured him they were legitimate transactions to quell the street vendor's fears that he would "get in trouble" for receiving as many payments as he did.
For the most part, there were tons of people who were very happy for the man who benefited from the kindness and exhortations of a stranger, but it didn't take long for a ton of other folks to promote themselves and their own Venmo, CashApp, and Zelle handles in the hopes of having money sent straight to their bank accounts.
It's not uncommon to see e-begging occur on viral threads: it's pretty much the same vibe/dynamic as IRL panhandlers waiting outside a busy intersection or at the entrance to the train during rush hour in the hopes of collecting a few errant coins/bills from strangers.
And even though it's a relatively common sight, it still didn't stop folks from criticizing those who were attempting to get money from strangers by piggybacking off of the viral thread that was established for the street corn vendor, who was revealed to be a man by the name of Luis Hernandez from the many folks who've donated to him.
And although we don't know exactly how much Luis made, he responded to tons of folks who donated to him, and more than anything it seems that he's appreciative of the fact that there are people out there who's got a hardworking person's back.