Creator profile: @eyeout4selen3r

Shawn McNamara quickly rose to fame, but he’s not planning on staying there

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Caroline O’Connor / Daily Collegian

By Kami Nguyen, Collegian Correspondent

If you’ve scrolled through TikTok in the past year and a half, senior accounting major Shawn McNamara has probably popped up on your For You Page.

Known for his skits, green screens and straight-to-camera videos, McNamara’s comedy account, @eyeout4selen3r, has amassed 1.2 million followers and 31.7 million likes since his first TikTok on March 27, 2020.

Like a lot of stars on the app, McNamara started making TikToks out of boredom during the first month of quarantine. Two videos later, his account blew up.

“It was pretty quick. There was not a period of time where I was like a struggling TikTokker,” McNamara said. “It really took off right away and just continued to take off.”

It’s easy to see why. McNamara’s comedy style is relatable and infectious, yet original and authentic. His most popular TikToks include a three-part “Kidnapping Series,” the last video of which gained 14.6 million views and 4.4 million likes. His “Rules if I am in a Coma” video garnered 10.3 million views and 2.7 million likes.

TikTok’s algorithm encourages success through periodic streaks of growth. When a TikTok blows up, a large increase in followers usually comes next. McNamara’s biggest increase was a jump from 800,000 to 1.2 million followers in seven days.

McNamara’s style is so recognizable that other creators are often accused of copying him, especially his “Rules for my x” videos. McNamara didn’t create this format, but he certainly owns it now.

McNamara has a surprisingly casual and low-effort approach to his viral videos.

“There is no creative process,” he said. “If I have to do it for more than 15 minutes then I’ll just stop.”

He keeps a Notes folder of ideas that come to him during the day and brainstorms new TikToks based on his previous successes.

McNamara enjoys the community aspect of TikTok more than the content creation.

“I like when it’s a funny comments section. People will banter and I’ll banter back, and you can’t even predict which comment section is going to be like that. It just happens like that naturally,” he said. “That’s my favorite, when I can interact with people in the comments section.”

McNamara credits his life at the University of Massachusetts as the reason why he doesn’t take his social media career too seriously.

“The way that my TikTok and UMass intersects is that I don’t really care about TikTok because I have this. For me this is just for fun, and going to school is what I focus on,” he said. “This TikTok thing is not going to be forever. I don’t put pressure on myself, because it’s like for what?”

McNamara thinks his laissez-faire attitude towards the app helps contribute to his popularity.

“[School] allowed me to be very passive towards TikTok, which I think people like,” he said. “Keeps the people wanting more.”

In an online world full of professional influencers, it’s easy to see why people are drawn to his lively and effortless demeanor.

McNamara calls “eyeout4selen3r” his stage name. Originally an inside joke about a photo of him with one eye open, he used the name to keep his TikTok account hidden from people he didn’t want to see it.

“My friend called it ‘gotta keep an eye out for Selener,’ so then I made it my username,” he said.

TikTok allows users to change their name once per month, and it was within that month McNamara posted his first video.

Where does McNamara plan to take his TikTok in the future?

“It’s going nowhere. Once I graduate and start working, I am never using it again,” he said, considering the account a fun side-hustle while in college.

McNamara’s fans and followers should enjoy the eyeout4selen3r videos before graduation next spring. Until that dreaded day arrives, say hello to McNamara on campus. He often gets messages from UMass students saying that they’d spotted him on campus but didn’t say anything.

“Don’t be afraid if you notice me, you can come up and say something. I’m not going to punch you in the head,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to come say hi. Gotta say hi to my UMass people, they’re my people.”

Kami Nguyen can be reached at [email protected]