I don’t know about you, reader, but I can’t get enough of these influencer stories on Snapchat’s Discover page. Snapchat’s algorithm has identified this as the absolute best way to milk me for sweet, sweet ad revenue.
It’s plain to see that monetizing your hotness, or “influencing,” is now a viable and maybe even preferential career option. Take Tanner Bradski, an incoming UR first-year who — after a sage-like meditation on his life’s trajectory during quarantine and one, singular, semi-viral TikTok — decided that he would not be feeling the sting this fall. Instead, Tanner spent his allowance on Gucci sneaks, siphoned cash from his dead grandfather’s offshore account like water from a spigot, and hightailed it to California in his shimmering new Jeep Wrangler (doors off) to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time influencer.
We managed to secure a virtual interview, but we’re pretty sure Bradski was only in it to promote his new line of bucket hats, “+ vibes.” Keep in mind, Bradski was recently diagnosed with compulsive DELBHT — Doe-Eyed Lip-Biting and Hair Tousling — a learned behavioral disorder rampant among TikTokers.
“The sun is so bright today…ahaha…,” Bradski said upon arrival.
Bradski seemed amused with himself as he tousled his freakishly well-conditioned hair and nibbled at his lower lip, his free hand fidgeting with the blinds to get “like, good lighting.” Most living with compulsive DELBHT have damagingly low levels of self-awareness — dangerous for anybody ensnared in conversation with them about their upcoming trap-rap single.
That’s right: Many influencers afflicted with the disorder have set their melty puppy-dog eyes on the music industry. Tiktokers and Other People We Are Not Sure Deserve a Platform (TOPWANSDAP [toe-pwanz-dahp]) are being labeled by public health officials as a national mental health risk as they make their exodus from TikTok and move toward the promised land of Shameless Spotify Payola. You’ve heard of COVID-19? TOPWANSDAP-21 falls just behind crippling loneliness and economic desiccation as most heavily correlated with Big Sad nationwide.
Our interview turned out to be more of a monologue, a monologue replete with sexy smiles and webcam adjustments.
We asked him, what does your brand “+ vibes” mean to you?
“I’m all about spreading positive vibes, I believe it’s what God put me on this earth to do,” Bradski said. “There’s just, like, wayyy too much negativity in the world these days, you know? With COVID[-19] and stuff.”
Tanner proceeded to hit his vape like he hits the slopes in Aspen every March. On the exhale, amidst an absolute billow-er, he began again: “I just thought using the plus symbol instead of the letters would be dope… I don’t see anyone in the game doing that right now so I thought… like… let’s do something different, you know?”
After another ripski, Bradski leveled: “There was a miscommunication between me and my merch guy. My mom found him on craigslist. So I actually have a wild amount of bucket hats that say ‘plus vibes’ instead of ‘+ vibes.’ Ahahaha.”
Tanner’s laugh betrayed a deep sadness within.
“Lowkey, can you plug my merch? Like, nobody has ordered any yet, and I told my mom I’d pay her back…”
He seemed to lose track of his thoughts, lost in his reflection. He fullscreened himself on Zoom, and asked us to wait a moment.
He pulled out his phone, and we at the Campus Times bore witness to a spastic and masturbatory outpouring of DELBHT into his own front camera, presumably recording something for his fans. He was so entranced by the final product that he got up and hobbled off camera all hiccup-y, one with his device, drunk on the beauty of his own creation — in love.
God bless him.
One thing’s for sure: Capitalism is getting uncomfortably buggy. Still waiting on that patch. We need more economic regulations, and more importantly, TikTok, Apple Music, and Spotify regulations to fight TOPWANSDAP-21.
Or we could all just technologically regress. I realize I’m shaking my fist at a cloud here — sometimes I just can’t help myself.