First of all, if you know anything about the internet, you know that if you want to stay relevant, it’s important to do everything at a lighting-fast pace. You have to capitalize on the attention you have while you have it, because the internet is quick to forget. I’m definitely an authority on the subject, because just look at me, writing this article now a good couple months after the fact. Whoops! Do as I say, not as I do.
Anyway, so here’s what happened.
That’s right, just a picture. Nothing worth writing home about, really. Notice at the top that it was posted a good two years ago at that. Now, the picture itself isn’t much of an issue. I posed for it and posted it myself. I didn’t mind that the people on the site I shared it to saw it; in fact, that was the whole point. I posted it, I had some good conversations with people, and then I forgot about it.
That is until…
… someone shared this with me on Facebook just a couple months ago. Again, this is two years after I posted the picture. In fact, first it was just one someone, someone I hadn’t seen in-person in probably a good 10 years or so, but then it became many someones. It became my whole high school! Everyone was seeing it and thought I needed to see it too, which makes sense of course, but it was overwhelming and felt incredibly awkward and more than a little uncomfortable. I felt simultaneously blindsided and exposed.
So, as a recap, yes, that’s my picture, but no, I had no idea it would be shared on something called “Hello Giggles,” of which I had never heard before. That meant, of course, that I had to go check out the site and see what it was all about. It was shared through Facebook, so it had a pretty active comment section. My heart repeatedly slammed itself against my rib cage in violent protest as I scrolled down to expose myself to the carnage that surely must be waiting for me below.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! Is this the same internet I was on just yesterday? So much support and love was thrown my way, and my poor heart finally stopped all that dramatic pounding and actually calmed down a bit for the first time since this whole debacle began. Maybe this isn’t the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened in my entire life like I first thought.
I went back up to read the slapped-together article they wrote and noticed that other than mistakenly calling me a Reddit user (Imgur all the way!), they also said they got the article from another source. Surely another site didn’t already write about me and use my image without my knowledge?
Oh, so they did.
I’d also never heard of Her.ie, but have since been informed that it’s an Irish woman’s magazine sort of thing. Well there you go.
So then I decided to reverse image search my picture and see if it popped up anywhere else. This is something I HIGHLY discourage doing with a public photo of yourself. After finding myself on a lot of creepy “Hot or Not” sites, I decided I didn’t really want to see how far that rabbit hole goes and chose to stop the search there.
But I wasn’t done being surprised yet. My face was still popping up in unexpected places. Lots of unexpected places. Part 2 has more.