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How A Teenage Worker Become An Overnight Internet Sensation

Target Acquired

Alex Christopher Laboeuf, a Texan teen, was just doing his job, working at Target, when a teenage girl with a large Twitter following snapped a candid picture of him. She tweeted it, with the caption 'YOOOOOOOOOO', and an internet sensation was born.
The Texan teen, now known as 'Alex From Target', has the look of someone in a boy band, which would make him very popular among teenage girls. And is why that picture of him was snapped in the first place. Unbeknownst to him, after a day of being up, the picture was all over the internet and countless memes were created.  He also gained 316,000 followers overnight. How did a seemingly normal boy just doing his job kick up such a twitter storm?

The answer is simple: teenagers.

Teenagers dominate social media. They are usually present on most social media websites and post the most about their lives. But most importantly, they understand how social media works. Teenagers these days were born into the internet age; it's just another aspect of their lives.
Alex From Target is just another phenomenon that confirms the enormous underestimated power that teenagers, especially teenage girls, have over what trends and what doesn't. All you have to do it to register this power is look at what is trending on Twitter. Most days, teenage girls' fandoms make One Direction trend, and even boy bands from XFactor. Evidently, subjects that not everyone on Twitter necessarily tweets about, but when these fandoms put their mind to it, they can make anything trend.

Further evidence of this is Alfie Deyes' book becoming a Waterstone's best seller, beating even Jamie Oliver. Alfie Deyes' audience is teenage girls, 8,000 of whom turned up to a book singing in London.
Teenage girls have the power to make anyone a star, and no one knows this better than Alex From Target. Ellen DeGeneres has already tweeted a picture of herself with him.  It is easy to speculate that Alex From Target, much like the Apparently Kid, will be featured on her show and may even be used in an advert.

However, internet fame is temporary, and Alex From Target will disappear as quickly as he appeared. Teenage girls will find some other fandom to fawn over. The biggest winners in this case is Target. No need to spend millions on marketing; a bunch of teenagers on the internet did it for them.


Laura is a recent graduate from University of East Anglia in Film and Television Studies, currently interning as a content writer but hoping to one day live off her writing. Follow her @LauraAtSMF.

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How A Teenage Worker Become An Overnight Internet Sensation Reviewed by Laura Veit on Wednesday, November 05, 2014 Rating: 5
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