Sometimes the trending topics on Twitter make sense: Sports teams during big games, politicians during elections, spooky things on Halloween.
And then there are the wacky Internet moments like #alexfromtarget.
Who's #alexfromtarget, you ask? Apparently, a Target cashier who's image -- now a meme -- has been all over Twitter and Tumblr since hitting the Internet yesterday. The hashtag has been trending nationally and locally since Sunday.
The origins of his Internet fame are a bit murky. Yahoo points to a Nov. 2 photo by Twitter user @auscalum that has garnered thousands of likes and retweets. (Mashable notes that in later tweets @auscalum denied taking the photo. CNN says Twitter user @brooklynjreiff posted the picture Oct. 24.)
YOOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/eknsxBlx38— rims (@auscalum) November 2, 2014
Why did the picture of Alex go viral? A scientific answer is hard to come by, but it seems to come down to admiring teenage girls with social media at their fingertips. A collective digital fangirl scream.
Thousands and thousands of tweets later, the Twitter account @acl163 that is believed to belong to Alex of #alexfromtarget has hundreds of thousands of followers.
So many followers 😂— DGM_Alex (@acl163) November 3, 2014
What does Minneapolis-based Target think of their Internet-famous employee? ABC News reports that Alex is from Texas, but otherwise biographical details are scarce.
Target issued this statement to the Star Tribune:
Usually our new weekly ad is what gets people tweeting on Sundays. So imagine our surprise yesterday when one of our Target team members managed to flood the internet with images of red and khaki without even trying. We are proud to have a great team, including #AlexFromTarget, and are in contact with his store and family. We will keep you posted if he is available for comment, but for now, we would ask you to respect his privacy.
And the company joined the wave of Internet love with this tweet from its official account.