Here’s how Digifest works: A bunch of kids (teenagers, mainly) who are social media celebrities gather to showcase their talents (?). Their fans are typically 13-year-old girls who are too old for toys but too young for boys. The social media stars who are singers sing. The rappers rap. And the others — Vine stars and Alex From Target — well, it’s still unclear what they do.
But the 13-year-old girls (Everyone is 13 for the sake of this article) love it. The parents hate it. Correction: Most of the parents hate it. Some moms were right there with their daughters holding signs and running around. Yeah, did we mention there was a lot of running? A LOT. Every time I turned my head, another gaggle of teenage girls was running. They ran from one stage to the other. They ran when they thought they saw a cute boy. They ran everywhere. They didn’t care. These girls didn’t give a shit. They were on a mission to um, get a selfie, or something, and you, old fart, were just in the way. While a mob of girls ran through the entrance, one security guard turned to another and said, “Help me.”
Among the social media stars at Digifest in Dallas were Nash Grier, Jordyn Jones and Alex From Target. Remember Alex From Target? Think, think, think. He was the cute checkout boy doing his job at Target when his photo went viral. That was about a year ago and a lot has changed since then. Even after pouring out his heart to The New York Times and claiming he isn’t fond of all the attention, Alex From Target is now making the rounds to all of the Digifest stops and eating it up.
When I interviewed Alex From Target the Thursday before Digifest, I asked him why people should go to the event featuring a bunch of social media celebrities.
He paused and said, “That’s a good question.”
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Yes, it is. As cute as Alex From Target is, he didn’t do much. Unless you are a singer or rapper or dancer, Digifest doesn’t do much to show off your skills — whatever your skill is. But he and all the others were inundated with plenty of fans who wanted pictures and autographs. Is it 1997? Who still wants autographs?
The highlight of my time at Digifest — if you can say that — came when I recognized rapper Dallas Wayde — thanks to Twitter. I sat down and talked with him and his manager/bodyguard/friend. He’s 17 years old and dropped out of school to pursue rapping full-time. “Oh, so you’re, like, homeschooled,” I asked. He quickly told me no, he dropped out for good and is now living in Utah working as a concert promoter and working on his album. He was in Dallas to record some of his album and decided to stop by Digifest. He doesn’t tour with the event because it takes away from working on his album. We talked about the other social media stars, what he raps about (girls) and living on his own. As we’re talking, I pull up his Twitter page and see he has tweeted one of the stars, Jordyn Jones. I show it to him, slightly disgusted but mainly amazed. It read, "Jordyn Jones can get it." He has apparently deleted the tweet since.
“Yeah, I mean, she can get it,” he tells me. I tell him maybe he should go talk to her instead of just, you know, tweeting her. “Yeah, I definitely will. But it all starts with Twitter. And you gotta have that blue checkmark.”
As I sat and talked to him, no one recognized him. A father came up to me afterward and asked who he was and as Wayde walked through the crowd, a few girls stopped to take pictures with him. Later on in the evening, however, there was a line to meet Wayde. I overheard some girls asking one another who he was, even after getting a picture with him. Regardless, Wayde looked happy as he kissed each girl on the cheek and hugged her.