A lot of things that Taylor Swift does on a daily basis could be considered kind of creepy -- she lurks on people's Instagrams, she sends unsolicited gifts, she gives strangers large sums of money seemingly out of the blue. Since she is Taylor Swift -- arguably the biggest pop star in the world -- however, when lady reaches out to randos at random, it's called Taylurking. And it's kind of awesome.
“I want to make the most of this cultural relevance or success or whatever you want to call it, because it’s not going to last,” Swift said in an interview with The Telegraph. “I have to be as good a person [as I can] while my name matters to them.
Leading up to the release of her chart-topping 1989 -- and after -- Taylor Swift has vied for the role of everyone's BFF by going above and beyond when it comes to fan interaction. She sent fans Christmas gifts. She shared their photos and video tributes. She made her die-hard fans viral stars simply by remembering them, by showing them attention, by shining the light on their devotion.
MTV News spoke with four such fans to find out what it's like to be Taylurked on -- and why they're fans of Taylor Swift, that adorable super creep:
I’ve been a fan for a really long time -- I’ve been to a lot of her concerts. There was this one time where I was taking a picture with my friend and [Taylor's] bass player in the stadium before the show started, and her dad photobombed the picture of us. At the next tour at the same stadium, I actually printed that picture out and showed it to him and he walked away for a second. I was a little confused, but then he went and got the bass player and we redid the picture two years later. I got to meet Taylor later that tour, which was really cool, so I actually showed her the picture and she thought it was hilarious -- because her dad was really a character -- and she tweeted that picture of me. So now I’m known as the photobomb girl in the Taylor Swift world.
I also went to the livestream in August when 1989 was first announced. They had a contest for the biggest Taylor Swift fan, and I ended up winning by writing a poem. We thought we were just going to be listening to new music, but then Taylor was like, 'Hey guys do you want to get pizza later? I have a place secured,' and we were all obviously like, 'Yeah of course.' We got on a bus not knowing where we were going and ended up going to her apartment and hanging out at her apartment with her, which was crazy.
Taylor is obviously an amazing artist, but she's also just so nice. She always talks about never letting her bad mood affect how she talks to other people. You can always see that when she interacts with people. Just having her talk about things and also seeing it in action, I just think inspires me and probably a lot of other fans to do the same. I’m probably a lot better a person from being a fan of hers for so many years.
I remember when that song came out. It was fun to dance to, but also, in a way, inspiring to me -- she’s been slut-shamed by the media so many times and I thought it was really cool for her to come out with a song that basically said like, 'You know, whatever, I’m just gonna be me; I’m just gonna have fun with it.' So I wanted to make a video that kind of showcased the same thing.
I decided to dance in a grocery store because people give you weird looks when you do that. I decided to just not care what people said or did or if they looked at me weird. I honestly didn’t think she would see it. I didn’t expect it to go that far. And then, I remember, I was supposed to be in school on a Monday night for some event and I didn’t want to go. I was just lying in bed and I was kind of upset, and I then I got a notification that was her tweet.
Then my mom came running in and we were both crying and, you know, that was really the start of everything. For me, the video was about showcasing that same idea that you can be who you want to be and it doesn’t matter what other people think of you.
Small things like that that celebrities don’t really do, they mean a lot to people. And especially, like the packages (Editor's Note: Mackenzie got a special Christmas present from Taylor as well). Like that was huge! She's not too special to do things like that for other people. It just goes to show that you should still care about people -- no matter where you are in your job or social life. You can always do something like that for somebody else.
I made my trick shot video back when Taylor was just starting to get pretty popular. And I was like, 'I wanna dedicate a shot to Taylor -- who knows maybe she’ll follow me on Twitter or whatever.' So basically I dedicated it to her and made this shot. Nothing came from the video, even though the video itself on YouTube has a couple of million views. Then I ended up getting Twitter-verified, so I turned the video into a Vine and I had everyone try to send it to her to see if she would see it. And it worked!
I still get starstruck and stuff when I see people I really respect. And I think she’s incredible. So when my phone beeped and I saw that she had retweeted by video, I almost didn’t believe it at first. It was funny -- a bunch of my friends just started texting me, even high school friends that I haven’t talked to in a really, really long time Facebook messaged me being like, 'I just saw Taylor Swift retweet your Vine.' A lot of people from the woodworks started coming out that I haven’t heard from in a while -- which was kinda funny.
I’ve been a fan of Taylor's music from the get-go. I think she’s actually someone who truly is who they portray themselves to be, which is unfortunately rare these days. I think she’s crazy talented with the singing and songwriting and all that. I also think she’s genuinely a good person and a good role model for a lot of people.
It was really random. She followed me and liked a bunch of posts, and then over the course of a few days, it just kind of spiraled into me receiving a package. I don’t know, it’s still kind of hard to wrap my head around after five months. Inside, there was a painting that she did, a necklace that used to be hers and a card with a Polaroid of her painting the painting -- and then $1,989 to help me with my student loans.
I had just made some random posts on my blog where I said I was stressed out about my loans -- she wasn’t following me at the time that I had made the posts. But, I guess she had gone back and looked at a bunch of my posts and saw that and decided to do it.
I knew everyone was posting videos of them opening their packages and all that. So I kind of knew to do that. But, I had no idea that it would blow up. I think my video has almost over a million views now, which is insane. I had no idea it would snowball into that.
I think this past year Taylor has really gone above and beyond. I think it’s making people realize what her fans have seen all along -- why we’ve always loved her so much. And now everyone else who’s not necessarily a fan is seeing like what we see.