Adrian Smith was shocked to find a photo of him as an eight-year-old had become an internet meme.
He stumbled upon the picture on Instagram, but it had come from a Tumblr blog in which his image was being used as the stepson of a fictional “teenage stepdad.”
He said he was amused by it, but admitted as a child he would have found it “confusing and sad.”
Smith’s discovery has now gone more viral than the original meme. He has been in touch with its original creator, and said he was happy the image has not been used in a “mean spirit.”
Smith, who lives in North Carolina, had contributed the photograph to a Tumblr blog in about 2007 where people were sharing school photos with laser backgrounds. It was taken in 1992.
He said he remembered being very proud of the picture, adding, “The lesson is that what you put in the internet might last forever and have a life of its own, but also the internet doesn’t define you, it doesn’t have to be you.”