But soon, the video’s popularity skyrocketed, going viral with tens of millions of views - 64m at the time of writing this - and McCoy’s reaction to seeing his girlfriend didn’t satisfy the millions of strangers who came across the video on their For You page, accusing him of cheating, or saying his behaviour was a red flag.
“This tabloid body language analysis—something typically reserved for Kardashians, the British royal family, and other A-listers—made me, a private citizen who had previously enjoyed his minimal internet presence, an unwilling recipient of the celebrity treatment.”
On the aftermath of becoming viral
“I have come to tolerate looks of vague recognition and occasional selfie requests from strangers in public. And my digital scarlet letter has not carried much weight offline, given that Lauren and the other co-stars of the now-infamous video know my true character.”
On the real anxiety
“...my anxiety rests only in the prospect that the invasive TikTok sleuthing I experienced was not an isolated instance, but rather—as tech writer Ryan Broderick has suggested—the latest manifestation of a large-scale sleuthing culture.”
Advice on when the TikTok algorithm creates another “couch guy”
“When they appear on your For You page, I implore you to remember that they are people, not mysteries for you to solve.”