What I Learnt From Being A Meme

Being A Meme

Did I ever tell you about the time I became a meme?

I’m not sure how it happened. Or when, or why, but one day I was tagged in the comments of a photo on Facebook with over 12 million likes. “Tamsin, is this you?”

And it was.

my weekend 5 years ago meme

That’s me. Asleep on the couch, who knows when, with my cat, under a blanket my mother in law made for me.

At first I was surprised, then shocked, and mostly I think it’s cool (and want to know where my internet money is) but it does bring home a very important lesson:

Anything you put online is there in the public sphere for ever.

You have no control over what happens to it, who takes it, who does something with it or why.

I’m just lucky my meme is funny and not offensive, and not being used to garner likes for some stupid Facebook page preying on the innocent. Well, I’m not sure about the last bit as I have no idea how many times it’s been shared – a quick google image search gave me more results than I thought possible.

You may not even remember writing that stupid poem, or taking that silly photo, but that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t. I don’t know when this photo was taken or even where they got it from or how, but they did.

They found it, they stole it, and they slapped a caption on it to make a point. I’m one of the lucky ones. Not too long ago my friend Carly Findlay had her photo stolen and posted with not so nice comments. Her experience was even reported on News.com.au

This year I saw a new version of the meme.

new year celebrations meme

The best bit? This was taken at least 5 years ago.

Have you ever had your photo stolen? 

  • Gary

    True, at least it wasn’t offensive and it’s good you can laugh at it.

  • Tamara King

    Not a photo, but a review! A company literally copy pasted a review I’d given for a different company in the same industry and put it on their reviews page as a testimonial for their product. I’d posted the original on a popular parenting forum under a distinctive user name and they hadn’t even bothered to edit out my username or the name of the other company.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Hahahaha!!! That shouldn’t be so funny but it is! It wouldn’t be if they had edited out your username or the name of the rival company.
      Surely if you’re going to fake reviews you’d just write your own?

  • Hugzilla

    Oh god, this is something I am afraid for for my son, who has a facial deformity. This is why I try and keep pictures of my kids out of the public domain, until they are old enough to decide for themselves. Yours though? Cute meme!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Yes, Carly has often shared “1 like = 1 prayer” type posts with stolen of children from the ichthyosis community. It’s a terrifying and real problem!
      I’m so lucky my meme is a cute one, but it really does bring it home, doesn’t it?

  • http://livingmyimperfectlife.com/ Sanch Living Life

    It is a scary thing isn’t it? I don’t even know how I would look for my photos out there unless someone found it like this. As you said, at least yours was funny. But I’ve seen Carly’s as well and it’s awful that people do that.