Yesterday I received a doozy of an email. One of those ones that leaves you feeling kicked in the stomach and as a side effect completely nauseated. It basically informed me that someone on the big 'ole internet was stealing photos from my blog and using them in craigslist ads when seeking men. Awesome.
Oh, and not just photos of me--but photos of me with my kids, too.
My first reaction was freak out! cry! scream! OMGGGGG! I didn't do anything other than freak out a little bit, in actuality. But the more I started dwelling on it, the more I started feeling all riled up. How dare someone steal my pictures? How dare someone have the nerve to use my face and claim it as their own, and my kids? sick human being that must be. I was starting to get all livid and hot-headed and downright freakin' pissed, if I'm being honest. I kinda felt violated and icky and gross. Because--uh. MY PHOTOS ON RANDOM CRAIGSLIST ADS. !!!!ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS NEEDED!!!!!
In effort to clear my brain I went to the gym and completely and utterly exhausted myself in an hour body combat class. I just pictured myself punching and kicking the snot out of every catfishing jerk out there who has the nerve to steal photos and pose as someone they're not.
Weirdly, that did the trick and I left that class not only feeling 100x better, but happy to boot.
Endorphins are a funny thing.
It's been about 24 hours since The Email and basically I've come to the conclusion that, while kinda sick and ultimately kinda messed up, I did this to myself. I mean, in the sense that I choose to blog on public forum. I choose to share pictures. I choose to use the internet at all.
Because, let's be honest.
Your photos on Facebook and Instagram and all those internet-based things can be stolen and used for random purposes all the time. It's not just because I have a blog.
Although, I will say--I'm glad the person who took my photos took them from my blog, since, well, the guy who discovered them did a reverse-google-image-look-up and what do ya know??? He found me! Little 'ole me at this Loves of Life blog. Happily married. Clearly not soliciting random men in Omaha. Who obviously had gotten some of her photos hijacked because the wonderful world wide web isn't that safe, cushy place my brain pretends it to be after all.
I can feel yucky. I can feel sad. I can feel a little bit violated, too. But it won't really help.
After all, I choose this. I choose to share. I choose to write and post photographs, all of which I know could (and do) end up in random google searches and (come to find out) random Craigslist ads.
Do I think it's right?
aw, helllllll no.
It's downright wrong. But that doesn't change that it happened (and still could continue to happen). Although, I pray it doesn't--because imma start huntin' bishes down, yo. (Trying to act scary doesn't work well for me, ahem).
I officially lost my lovely internet ignorance this week.
And you know what they say- ignorance is bliss.
Since I know there will be questions, I emailed the person using my photos and nicely asked them to cease using them. However, all I had was one of those randomly generated craigslist emails, so I don't know if it went through/got to them, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. I also reported to Craigslist Fraud Department. That's about the extent of what I can/did do.