Southern Miss graduate goes viral

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Taken at Southern Miss, this is one of Trevor Norris' first viral photos. Photo courtesy of Trevor Norris

In an effort to defend the innocent inboxes of his friends and followers, a Southern Miss graduate went viral with a clever way to stop women from getting harassed online.

Trevor Norris is a social media content creator who has found viral success with humorous and relatable posts. His follower count currently stands at 154 thousand.

Posts like the “IDK what’s going on” meme, where Norris portrays a clueless college student in the middle of a difficult class, have made Norris a household name for college students on social media around the world.

After being told by a friend that she successfully used a picture of his to stop a guy from constantly messaging her, Norris came up with an idea to use his platform to combat the harassment of women online.

Norris became Twitter’s ‘fake boyfriend,’ tweeting out a series of seemingly candid photos of himself doing various normalcies in his home in hopes that people would use his pictures to thwart unwanted messages from strangers online.

“I thought [her message] was funny, so I retweeted it and posted it on Instagram. Then I got nine other messages all from other friends saying they needed pictures because guys wouldn’t stop harassing them, and from there, I saw the actual need for these pictures,” Norris said.

Norris tweeted the first set of pictures April 17. What happened next, Norris said he was not expecting.

Norris’ tweet instantly received a huge response, being liked and shared over 110 thousand times on Twitter. Trevor even received feature segments on Inside Edition, LadBible and   Blavity.

“I wasn’t expecting this big of a reaction,” Norris said. “People started calling me an ally and a hero because these girls were so used to being harassed and just had to deal with it for so long.”

Norris’ tweet has started a conversation about the way men pursue women online, a conversation that junior nursing major Lindsey Adele Campbell says is long overdue.

Campbell found herself at the receiving end of a daily bombardment of unsolicited messages from an unknown male sender. It was only when she sent one of Norris’s pictures that she was able to get the messages to stop.

Campbell said that a conversation about this will help her and others who have been in the same situation. She said that this instance was not the only one she has had.

“This cycle happens to a surprising number of other women, more than some may think,” Campbell said. “A lot of the times, the only way to get said man to stop is to block them, and I appreciate Trevor’s post for helping to break this cycle and get men out of our DMs.”

Sophomore history major Amanda Malede Irizarry said Norris’s post is necessary because it challenges the idea that in today’s society, a man’s worth is no more than a woman’s. She also said that avoiding aggressive men is common.

“It’s unfortunate, but it is necessary in this society nowadays because there are certain kinds of men that can’t take no for an answer and they respect other men more than they actually respect women,” Irizarry said. “They respect the fact that a woman already ‘belongs’ to another man rather than a woman refusing by herself.”

Above all else, Norris wants his posts to keep people talking about these issues until they are understood. “That’s what I do want. I just want this message to be heard. So if no one else gonna speak about it, I’m definitely ready for it.”