It’s been an eternity in Internet time, but it’s actually only been about a week and a half since the first #AlexFromTarget tweet was sent. Since then, the hashtag famous Alex has become famous IRL, with an appearance on Ellen, paparazzi tailing him, and 733,000 Twitter followers.
And while we’re still confused about what the heck prompted this whole thing, there have been some clear repercussions for Alex himself.
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) November 12, 2014
According to this latest New York Times article, Alex actually doesn’t leave the house very much because he gets an overwhelming amount of attention, including being chased by screaming girls. His family has gotten death threats and he’s been called all sorts of horrible names online. And more seriously, personal info about he and his family has been shared online.
It’s not uncommon these days to include fans in campaigns, but it’s worth considering the impact that it can have on them. Alex’s rise to stardom is more random than that. But when fans are a part of a more orchestrated effort, making them aware of what they could be walking into is the right thing to do.
As for Alex, it looks like he’s getting help to manage his fame. The story is worth the read. The Internet can be a rough and wild place.