Alex LaBeouf, also known as Alex from Target, rose to social media stardom in early 2014 when he legitimately became an overnight Twitter sensation. It all started when a teen shopper in Texas snapped a photo of a hot guy working behind the checkout counter at the popular retailer — and yes, that cashier cutie was Alex. J-14 recently caught up with the viral star to find out what life has been like for him since that unbelievable day.

“I was working at Target and I was just doing my regular shift, but my phone was dead. Then, my manager came up to me and she showed me the picture that was blowing up, and it had like 30,000 retweets. I didn’t believe her when she showed me. I thought it was a prank or something. I was very confused — and then I asked to go turn my phone back on in the back,” Alex recalled. “My phone froze. All I saw was that I had 10,000 messages because my phone number got leaked. Also, it wouldn’t let me open any of my social media because of all the notifications.”

Alex racked up hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers by the end of the night. “I left work early because people were starting to come in to take pictures and stuff. That got kind of weird,” he added. “I was like ‘What does this mean? Is this gonna change my life?’ The moment I realized it was actually going to change everything was the moment Ellen [DeGeneres] called.”

He visited talk shows across the country, but that was just the beginning of a rollercoaster ride the teen wasn’t prepared for. A lot has happened to the 19-year-old since he was “checked out” in the checkout line. Scroll down for all the details!

He got a little taste of the dark side of fame.

Alex revealed, “The beginning was wonderful. The first few months [were] amazing. I was going on tour. I made a ton of friends. I was going on the news all the time. It was just really fun. Then, all the business aspects kind of ruined it for me.”

In the weeks after the tweet went viral, Alex didn’t know how to handle the sudden fame. He even told the New York Times that he was afraid to leave the house for awhile. But a lot of opportunities started coming his way, and just like that, he was living the life of a web star.

He had to quit public high school.

“I had to leave high school after going on The Ellen Show. In Texas, you can only miss ten days of school before you’re truant and you have to go to court. So, I had to go to court because I was missing so much school from flying out to LA and all that stuff,” he shared. “Once I started homeschooling, then I actually got the freedom to kind of go wherever, so after that, everything just started getting crazy.”

He went on tour.

“I went on tour for a full month. It was the first time I’d ever gone out of state without my parents,” he said. “I was best friends with Sam Pottorff. We went on tour together and we became really close friends. I actually moved in with him whenever I moved out to California. I was living with him for a couple months.” The highlight of DigiTour 2015 was when Alex did the worm shirtless — but it sorta backfired.

He told J-14, “They asked me, ‘Can you do anything cool?,’ and I was like, ‘I can do the worm.’ They were like, ‘Perfect.’ They told me to do the worm onstage and I started doing it, and at one of the shows I was really, really tired because we had stayed up all night. I go to do the worm and I did a handstand before I did it and I went up too high and I just went face straight into the ground. My whole body just hit the stage so hard and everyone got super quiet. I just got up and everyone was cracking up. I started laughing. I was extremely embarrassed. It was pretty funny.”

He added that one of the coolest things about being on tour was chillin’ with Viners (RIP Vine). “I was hanging out with them and they were just spitting out ideas like crazy. I could barely keep up,” he said. As a result of being surrounded by a bunch of social media pros, Alex picked up on a lot, but admitted, “I’m still far from getting to where I want to be.”

He started a YouTube channel.

Alex recently returned to YouTube, and is posting old videos along with new ones. He decided to start fresh with a new account, and is going to be a lot more open than he was in the past. “I never really got to show [subscribers] who I really am. I was always back and forth on social media ever since this thing started. I never really could find my niche, like what I really wanted to do with it,” he explained. “So now I’m just going to be who I really am and I’m gonna give them more insight to my real life and stuff.”

He went back to school.

Though he likes YouTube, Alex is determined to have a backup plan. “I’m probably not going to put everything I have into this because social media is such a…it’s not the type of business I wanna put everything I have into. It’s too risky, in my opinion, especially with what I had gone through in the past,” he shared. “So right now, I’m going to be starting school to be an EMT soon.”

He’s added a few tattoos to his collection.

Alex is clearly way edgier than he was in his swoopy-haired Target days, and revealed the significance of his multiple tattoos. “I have the cherry blossom tree on my shoulder. I just really like Japanese style art and it means peace and serenity,” he spilled. “I also have the wave on my arm. That’s actually a tattoo me and my girlfriend got together.”

He’s not one to take a ton of shirtless pictures — but when he does, fans see another piece of body art. “I also have a tattoo on my rib cage that says, ‘When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.’ My sister always had that written on her mirror, and me and my sister are really close, and I got that tattoo because of that and she’s also gonna get the tattoo on her rib cage.”

“I have one on my collarbone that says ‘Let’s get lost,'” he added. “That was my first tattoo I got whenever I got [to California] because I was feeling adventurous.”

His fifth and final (well, for now) tat is a smiley face on his middle finger! He said, “I got it whenever I was on tour. Actually me, Maddie Welborn, Andrew Fontenot, we had all gotten it because Maddie knows how to do stick and poke tattoos. She’s like ‘Don’t worry. It’ll be gone in a couple months.’ We all got it and it’s still there.”

He (sadly) has a girlfriend.

alex from target girlfriend

Her name is Kelsey, and they’re insanely cute. “Me and my girlfriend met as soon as I moved out to LA. I actually moved in next to her. I moved in right next door, and we had met in the hallway,” he shared. “It was really funny because I had just gotten back from Playlist Live, and I had this cut in my forehead because my friend threw a butter knife at me. It was stupid. I was just trying to eat peanut butter with a butter knife. He threw the peanut butter, then he threw the butter knife and the butter knife hit me. So I had this gash on my forehead, and I was walking down the hallway. It was very awkward, but it was awesome. Then, we went out to Denny’s at midnight and it was just super fun.”

He’s steered clear of an acting career.

The whole music and movies thing was not in the cards for Alex. “I can’t sing. I don’t like hearing myself sing,” he revealed. His IMDB page, which is literally titled “Alex from Target,” does show that he completed a drama called Coming Home, but it doesn’t look like a release date has been announced.

It’s crazy to think that four whole years have passed since that tweet — but it’s honestly crazier to see that Alex still has 1.6 million Instagram followers and over 600K Twitter followers from just one picture. Sigh, the joys of being hot.

This post was written by Emily Brozyna. It originally appeared on our sister site, J-14.