Zak Roe, who has more than 2,500 followers on Twitter, said he started to get heavily involved in social media as a way to make friends.
Roe, a senior studying integrated media, said he is shy, so friendships have not always come easily for him. He said at the beginning of his Twitter career he started to follow many people to attempt to make more friends.
“I always try to follow everyone back because I want to be their friend,” Roe said.
Despite Roe's shyness, he said many people know him best as “Anna” from Disney’s Frozen or “The Frozen guy." In February of 2015, Roe decided to walk around campus on a snowy day dressed up as Anna from Frozen to search for his sister Elsa, according to a previous Post report.
Roe said he is also known as "The Twitter guy." He has a large social media presence on multiple websites, such as YouTube and Twitter, due to his humorous posts and videos. He started making videos in middle school and created his current Twitter account @TheZakRoeShow in 2012.
His primary social media account is Twitter, even though he started off using Facebook, he said. Because people are sometimes reluctant to show their true selves to a wider audience on Facebook, Roe said he thinks Twitter is “a better communication tool.”
“People are a little afraid to post things (on Facebook), especially edgy things,” Roe said.
Roe often responds to his followers and interacts with them, rather than simply just following people back. He added that when people tweet about seeing him in public, he responds saying that they should have said hello.
One of Roe’s friends, Michelle Deitrick, a junior studying nursing, said Roe’s online presence is “unifying.”
“A lot of what he tweets is relatable and sometimes is only relatable to OU students,” Deitrick said in an email.
Photos of his time spent as Anna from Frozen can be found across all his social media platforms, including his Linkedin.
Roe loves Frozen because he has a very deep connection to the movie. He said he relates to Anna, one of the main characters, so much that “it’s a crime.” He added that Anna just wanted to make friends, which is an example of how he finds the character relatable.
He also described the song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, as the “emotional crutch of the movie.”
Roe is approached by people often, mainly on Court Street when students are drinking Uptown, he said.
“Sometimes (the attention is) excessive on Fridays,” Roe said.
When people ask Roe to take pictures with them, he said he enjoys the experience because he loves to meet new people.
Abdalah El-Barrad, a senior studying economics and applied mathematics, is Roe’s friend who has appeared in some of Roe’s earlier videos on YouTube.
“I even get recognized from (the videos) because people love him so much,” El-Barrad said in an email.
Roe had always wanted to join Snapchat, a social media platform that allows users to send and post photos or videos, because he was curious about the app, but he did not have a phone that was compatible with the app until recently.
“I had a Windows phone for the longest time, then Pokemon Go came out and I got a new phone for that,” Roe said.
Snapchat was compatible with the new phone he bought, and he started making short comedy videos and posting them to the stories section of his Snapchat account.
Roe is also involved heavily with YouTube. He has his own channel called “TheZakRoeShow”. He makes videos that are centered around his sense of humor, such as his “Good Morning Texts” video series. The skits are about facts and life-skills, Roe said.
Making videos is one of Roe’s passions. He said videos are “a great way to express humor and personality.” He added that he prefers videos rather than pictures because there is so much more that people can do with videos through the editing process.
Roe initially had no plans of gaining popularity with his social media accounts, but said he “kinda just fell into it.” He said his friends thought he was funny, so they encouraged him to continue posting comical tweets on Twitter.
“If you make one person smile a day, you’re doing your job right,” Roe said.