On December 11th, 2021, popular English content creator and songwriter Wilbur Soot released his sixth single, a fun, upbeat tune titled “Your New Boyfriend.” It is the third in a series that follows the protagonist, Lonely Boy’s, infatuation with an e-girl, the prototypical version of which is a young woman who spends an atypical amount of time online–whether it be gaming, posting, cosplaying–and whose style is inspired from both European alternative and Asian street fashions. On the surface, this song appears to be an amusing, lighthearted track, perfect to belt out the lyrics to on a road trip with friends and head bang to the beat on the way to an afternoon class. Behind the comedic lyrics and unforgettable melodies, there lies the disturbing yet common story of an outcast finding solace in his obsession and parasocial relationship with a Twitch streamer. Littered with metaphors and allusions, Wilbur Soot charmed this intense cautionary into the minds of over two million unsuspecting listeners.
Soot repeatedly references the age of Lonely Boy to characterize him as fixated and fanatic. In the first stanza, the narrator recalls, “When I was a kid on VoIP / I thought when I get older / I’d marry her, I told her / Now I’m 26 and I work in an office.” He alludes to VoIP, aka Voice over Internet Protocol, which is an older program used to make telephone calls from a computer. In the chorus, Lonely Boy says, “Oh, she’s living the dream / From back when we were 17.” These excerpts of the music tell the listener that his potent obsession has been brewing inside for nearly a decade and ultimately raises the stakes for the streamer’s safety. He sings about the beautiful love he believes is shared between them, but in reality, he is a stalker desperate to fulfill his fantasy of having the perfect relationship with this woman. This is known as a parasocial relationship, where one person extends emotional energy while the other is completely unaware of his or her existence. Lonely Boy vents, “You hit it off instantly / I know ‘cause you won’t stop telling me.” This relationship is entirely one-sided, so she’s not intentionally communicating anything to him; because the setting of this story is their shared online space, the listener can assume that she is posting on social media about her boyfriend. Lonely Boy feels that she is telling him personally about her new relationship.
Lonely Boy is convinced that he is the only person who could make her happy, and that despite all of his flaws, he would be the ideal partner and provider. He says, “I’ve got the key and he’s just a doormat / ‘Cause even though he’s got social skills / That doesn’t mean I can’t pay the bills.” The writer uses the metaphor of the current boyfriend being a doormat to further Lonely Boy’s perception that her relationship is a place for her to wipe her feet while traveling down the path of genuine connection, a path that leads to a door for which he exclusively holds the key. Despite his irritation with the situation, the tone of the song stays joyful, showing that he does not hold her accountable for the perceived mistakes she makes. Soot further unravels the delusions of the protagonist by introducing the fact that he feels attraction to the woman’s partner. Towards the end of the song, Lonely Boy admits, “I think about him a lot as well (I think about him) / Maybe if he wasn’t fine as hell (he’s really fine as hell.)” He is so infatuated with this person that he favors all the things she does, including people, despite being neither romantically nor sexually attracted to men.
From the cheerful tone to the playful, strategically-placed adlibs, this song is ultimately disarming. Being a twitch streamer himself, Wilbur Soot understands that this is a serious issue that plagues female streamers. He utilizes figurative language to weave this chilling story into a bright, colorful basket that his fans would find easier to digest. Presented with the archetype of the lonely man, the popular woman, and her seemingly perfect partner, the listeners are given circumstances that they would typically find themselves chuckling at. Not everyone who streams the track takes the time to unpack the complex story behind it, but Soot has planted a subconscious seed of familiarity that will sound off alarm bells for those witnessing or operating in a similar situation.