Alex from Target, the young Texan teenager that CNET has described as “the viral Bieber mesmerizing the world” and catapulted to internet stardom overnight is now enduring what New York Times reported as the “other side of fame” for the newly-minted web celebrity.
In a feature story written by Nick Bilton for the Times about 16-year-old Alex Lee of Texas, it noted that him and his famiy had to endure the disadvantage of being suddenly famous.
“There have even been dozens of death threats on social media and in private messages (‘Alex from target, I’ll find you and I will kill you’),” the writer noted about the negativity that the “Alex from Target” phenomena has caused.
Since Alex became who he is today in the web and around the world, thanks to the major media attention he has received, he barely goes outside the house.
“I’ve been in the house the entire time,” he said, speaking with the Times.
“I’m kind of scared to go in public.” Alex’s parents are delighted by the newly acquired fame of their son, but is deeply concerned with the negativity that has been springing up online because of it.
Aside from the death threats the teenager has received, there were also instances where the family’s personal information online, including Social Security numbers have been exposed.
The Times story noted that Alex’s family is in touch with the local police, concerned for the safety of Alex and his five siblings.
They have also met with school principals and security officers, plus Target managers, to put together security plans in case of an emergency.
Speaking with CNBC, Alex shared his feeling about what has happened since the Sunday night his image went viral.
“It’s definitely changed a lot,” he said.
“It’s pretty overwhelming, actually.” Alex though is intent to direct all this attention to something very positive.
In a tweet he sent out to his 737,000 followers on Twitter, he shared about a charity event he’ll be serving in.
And one of the organizer’s can’t help but be grateful for his participation.
“Good looks+great heart= blessed life! @acl163 will be serving during our fundraiser event in Frisco @Applebees Thanks Alex!! #youngleaders,” wrote @WendySHarmon.