GQ (Australia) - - THESOURCE -

Afew months ago, Cameron Dal­las, the so­cial-me­dia-phe­nom­e­non-turned-model, singer and ac­tor, switched off his phone and went to Hawaii. “I did post a cou­ple of pho­tos of the beach,” he ad­mits a bit sheep­ishly, “but not many.” For a 22-year-old who made his name through var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms – at last count, his Face­book, Twit­ter, Vine, Instagram and Youtube ac­counts had al­most hit 45 mil­lion peo­ple – this was a big deal. “I had two big anx­i­ety at­tacks – the only two I’ve ever had in my life – and re­alised I needed some time to my­self and to un­wind. It was good to take a break.” While he may have needed some time out, Dal­las’ de­vo­tion to his fan base re­mained firm. Made up mostly of teenage girls, there’s a real au­then­tic­ity and close­ness to their on­line bond. “Peo­ple get to choose who they fol­low, so they fol­low me for me,” he says. “It’s su­per hum­bling and awe­some.” For La-born Dal­las, fame came knock­ing five years ago when he started call­ing him­self a model and post­ing pho­tos. “I had no idea at all how to model,” he re­calls, “but peo­ple would start to fol­low me. “So, I would go to these start-up com­pa­nies and say, ‘I have all these fol­low­ers… how can we work to­gether?’ And they would go, ‘Yo, we’ll give you a free beanie and pay you 150 bucks.’” Then, when Dal­las started post­ing six-sec­ond Vine videos of him­self muck­ing around (hang­ing up­side down in buses, slid­ing across floors, chill­ing out with friends) things started to get a lit­tle crazy. To date, his videos have at­tracted some 2.4 bil­lion ‘loops’, or views. Dal­las says the ap­peal of those videos is sim­ple: “I like to post pos­i­tive con­tent and I like to try and make peo­ple smile. That’s why those videos are pop­u­lar. I don’t fake it.” And things are about to get even big­ger with the launch of his Net­flix re­al­ity se­ries, Chas­ing Cameron, which fol­lows Dal­las and his mates around the world deal­ing with be­ing “so­cial me­dia stars”. His aim with the show is to “ed­u­cate peo­ple on how the so­cial space works. “I want to re­veal how pow­er­ful it is and also show peo­ple there’s a big gen­er­a­tional gap be­tween the mil­len­ni­als and other gen­er­a­tions be­cause of it.” The se­ries oc­ca­sion­ally fea­tures Dal­las deal­ing with teenage fans in var­i­ous stages of be­ing starstruck – from sur­prise to in­con­solable sob­bing. At times it makes for un­com­fort­able view­ing. “It comes with the job and I un­der­stand that, so when things like that hap­pen, I’m pre­pared,” he says. “It’s some­times un­for­tu­nate be­cause these are re­ally se­ri­ous prob­lems that [these girls] have. It’s a big re­spon­si­bil­ity be­cause I feel like I have to have an an­swer for them to make sure that when they walk away, they feel bet­ter about the sit­u­a­tion, but I just try to give my ad­vice.” When asked whether he’s had to rein in his so­cial me­dia pres­ence af­ter Kim Kar­dashian’s Paris in­ci­dent, he be­comes un­usu­ally sub­dued. “It’s an in­ter­est­ing topic. You just have to be su­per care­ful all the time.” Dal­las re­cently shot a cam­paign for Dolce & Gab­bana and says that, in fu­ture, he wants to fo­cus more heav­ily on mu­sic and act­ing. “I’m dab­bling in some stuff like that right now,” he says. “I just want to con­tinue to do what I love. I’m not the sort of per­son who wants to live my life do­ing just one thing. I like to go around and do as many things as pos­si­ble.” Chas­ing Cameron is now stream­ing on Net­flix

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