The average Facebook user changes their profile picture 18 times a year, usually hoping for a few likes and some positive comments, but not anticipating anything more.
That's what Ivor Noyek, a Cork man living in Brooklyn, did last week, swapping his old profile pic for a photo of him walking on the side of the road in upstate New York, wearing a striped shirt, denim, and a pair of aviators.
His friends had a field day with the trendy snap, and one of them photoshopped the image to look like the ultimate hipster Werner Herzog movie poster.
Then more friends joined in on the fun.
Quickly, #Ivoriscoming became a meme – trending in newsfeeds, getting its own tumblr, and even now its own entry on the meme encyclopedia site Know Your Meme. It’s also been picked up by an array of publications, including The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, and Mashable.
Ivor was not at all expecting this to happen.
“I knew the photo (taken on the sly by Francesco Orlandi) was a bit on the "hipster" side and, knowing my mates, I would get a bit of a slagging but I never expected it to escalate so quickly and so widely,” he told IrishCentral.
So what’s it like to become a meme? “Surreal,” according to Ivor.
“I didn't have a whole lot to do with it really. I don't think anyone could predict something like this. It's the nature of a meme I suppose, you just never know what will catch on and grow legs. But still this seems unprecedented.”
Still, he thinks it’s all in good humor and is glad people are getting a kick out of it, even if he has no idea who they are.
“It's a fun meme, so I'm happy that it's bringing some laughs to people around the world,” he said.
His personal favorites out of the images generated so far include the Game Of Thrones one with Jon Snow in the foreground (by Lucia Orlandi, above), which spawned whole #IvorIsComing hashtag.
“I've kind of lost track of them at this rate but I get a laugh every time I see a new one.”