Over the weekend, I was alerted to the fact that a TikTok video viewed by millions used my author photo as the face of taco salad orderers everywhere.
Okay … I guess that’s right, because I do order taco salads. Having a severe dairy allergy kind of mandates that I select the safer option when ordering at a cheese-laden Mexican restaurant.
The comments beneath the video — which made me feel my creaky middle age — spurred me to write an oped about the experience of having my face used in a viral TikTok video.
The experience reminded me of the time when, on Christmas 2020, a student of mine let me know that my photo had been used by a YouTuber who wanted to “infiltrate” neighborhood Facebook groups using a fake account using my supposedly trustworthy face.
Here’s the link to the oped published today in the Boston Globe:
Someone threatened to shoot up my son’s high school recently. Administrators alerted parents to the threat and assured us that there would be a strong police presence on the school campus.
When you are told that someone — likely an individual trying to get attention and spark a high-profile reaction — has threatened your child’s school, on a specific day, how are parents, in the age of Parkland and Newtown, supposed to react? What is a reasonable response? I wrote a piece about navigating this new terrain, “Parenting in the Age of School Shootings.”
“… all I had were questions. Will there be an increased police presence at the high school because the shooting was threatened to occur tomorrow? Or will police be there just because there was a threat made? Is the high school graduation ceremony a few days from now at risk?
Facebook quickly became the virtual meeting spot for worried parents who wondered if it was safe to send kids to school the following day, for parents who said we shouldn’t live in fear, for parents who were hungry for more information, for parents who sought solace from one another because this is now the world in which we are raising our children.”
Read the whole piece at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette here.