By Rachel Gobep
Persistent and dedicated are two words that can be used to describe Justin Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy, a senior criminal justice major, has one goal in mind: getting Ellen DeGeneres to follow him on Twitter.
How does he plan to do that, though?
According to Shaughnessy, he will tweet at her every single day until she follows him back.
It began with a simple tweet on Jan. 19, 2019, that read, “I think I’m going to tweet @TheEllenShow everyday until she follows me.” He hasn’t missed a day since — Shaughnessy has almost reached 400 consecutive days of tweeting at DeGeneres.
“I won’t stop. My account will turn into an Ellen fan page before [I give up]. But if you go to my timeline, it’s all just Ellen tweets and then a random tweet. I’m in too deep,” he said.
DeGeneres currently has 79.6 million followers and follows 27.6 thousand people, but Shaughnessy thinks he can accomplish his goal if he continues to be persistent.
“I saw she was following a lot of people, and I was like, I just want to have the ability for her to see my stuff on her timeline, be able to [direct message her]. I thought that would be cool,” Shaughnessy said.
He said if DeGeneres followed him on Twitter, he would cry.
“That would be amazing. Everybody keeps saying, ‘Maybe she’s watching. You’re going to be on the Ellen Show,’” Shaughnessy said. “I just want a follow. That’s the minimum I want.”
He said he’s gone as far as purchasing a video message on Cameo, an app that lets fans book a personalized video shoutout from athletes, celebrities and social media influencers.
In the video, RiFF RAFF, a rapper from Houston, asked DeGeneres to follow Shaughnessy on Twitter.
His love for DeGeneres stemmed from watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show with his mom every day after she got home from work.
Shaughnessy said he appreciates the positivity DeGeneres radiates, specifically at the end of her show when she encourages people to always be kind to one another.
“Also, a lot of her stuff is also news related, too. It’s not usually, bad news. It’s the good stuff, you know, what you don’t see on CNN or MSNBC. … So, it’s just a nice way to end your day,” he said.
Although some have joked with Shaughnessy and even threatened to block him on Twitter because of his daily tweets to DeGeneres, he said there is one friend who has supported him through his intriguing objective: Dave Jakovina.
He has retweeted every single tweet Shaughnessy has posted since day one.
Jakovina, a senior political science foreign affairs track major, has known Shaughnessy since he was about 12 years old, and they graduated from Austintown Fitch High School together.
The pair now are in the same fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Jakovina described Shaughnessy as a “lifelong friend.”
Jakovina said he believes Shaughnessy will accomplish his goal because of the dedication he has to tweeting at DeGeneres every day.
“It’s been over a year now, but the day will come,” he said. “Who knows, maybe he’ll get called to be on her show.”