It's that no one seems bothered if the answer is, well, nothing. Whoever came up with this"—she motioned toward the gaping electric space that contained all those girls—"is a freaking genius." Only a week later, as inexplicably as it had begun, the whole thing would fall apart.
," one New Jersey mother told me, trying to account for her daughter's enthusiasm. The Family revolved around Nash Grier—a 16-year-old from Davidson, North Carolina, who'd skyrocketed to impossible success with a Vine of himself shirtless and lampooning the Christian right.
The Vine was reposted by Tiffany Shemasko, an account-holder with 300,000 followers.
I'd just emerged from a NJ Transit bus pulled over to the side of Route 9, and the screams were rippling through the atmosphere from thousands of feet away, over the noise of traffic. Wherever the screams were coming from, that's where Magcon would be.
Magcon stands for "Meet and Greet Convention," a sold-out weekend-long traveling event—New Jersey, Austin, Chicago—showcasing 11 teenage boys and one accessorized girl.
The boys aren't pop musicians or actors or, for the most part, possessors of the sort of talent that would have made someone a teen idol in previous years.
They're social-media savants, famous and desired because they've built a successful feedback loop of fame and desire, among a mostly female online fanbase as large—and loyal—as Lady Gaga's.
His Vines have blended slapstick adolescent male theatrics (goofy faces, pranking his friends, inside jokes) with impeccable charm and charisma.
In six seconds, Grier is a remarkably captivating teen idol.
Magcon's beginning, though, came through Aaron Carpenter, a teen who'd become a Twitter celebrity through his humorous photo captions. This sparked the interest of a family friend in Louisiana, entrepreneur and single dad Bart Bordelon.
On Twitter, the twelve members of "the Magcon Family," as they are billed, have more than 10 million followers among them.
On Vine, the number is a staggering 25 million—taken as a collective, the Magcon teenagers have eclipsed celebrities as big as Ellen, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, and comedy rapper Ri FF Ra FF for dominance on social media.
There are thousands of pages worth of Twitter mentions, fan Tumblrs, and You Tube tributes.
In all the frenzy surrounding their fame, the most notable thing isn't that no one has asked what exactly their heartthrobs are doing.