Many people may prefer their primary school photos to be hidden away. But what if people around the world have seen yours and you become a full-blown meme?
Research scientist Adrian Smith recently found himself in that position and he didn’t even know it had already been going on for a few years.
He was shocked to discover an image taken of him in grade 3 (which is year 4 in the UK) had been turned into a meme while looking at Instagram.
Smith has been known as "Grayson" on the “Teenage Stepdad” account since at least 2017.
There are even T-shirts with his face on being sold for the character’s fan club.
In a Twitter thread following the revelation, he said:
“Scrolling through stories, I see my picture pop up. It’s a truly bizarre experience to bump into a disconnected version of yourself out there in the wild. Even weirder when it leads down a meme rabbit hole.”
The manager of the account then reacted to the discovery on social media.
Smith said he has since been in touch with the original creator who offered to kill off the character but the scientist said he was happy for it to be carried on.
In an interview with Slate, Smith said it took him a few days to figure out exactly how he felt:
“I think it’s funny. It wasn’t generated with a mean spirit. This image is just living its own character life in its own meme universe. That’s not me, even though it is me, you know?”
Smith believes the photo must have been found after he posted it to a Tumblr blog more than 10 years ago.