Remember 2013? It was a simpler time. People were doing the Harlem Shake, wearing onesies, taking selfies without any shame, and un-ironically using the word ‘swag’. We’d also started communicating via memes.
Well, now the memes are growing up. Take Chloe Clem, who you might better know as Side-Eye Chloe. If neither of those names rings a bill, the image of an unimpressed Chloe sitting in her kiddy car seat might do the trick.
The photograph went viral eight years ago, when Clem was just two years old and had been told by her parents she was going to Disneyland. Her older sister was beyond excited. But Chloe? Not so much.
Her less-than-overwhelmed expression resonated deeply and a star was born.
Only now that star is 10 (feel old yet?) and with the help of her mum Katie, she wants to claim ownership of her meme, then sell it back to us – by converting it into an NFT.
Now, you might have heard those three letters before, but just in case you’re not aware, an NFT – or non-fungible token – is a unique digital token (meaning it has no equal and can’t be traded for something else). The appeal of it is that you get to be the sole owner of this one-of-a-kind thing (it can be art, it can a tweet, autographs, pretty much anything), but only you own the original.
You might scoff at the idea of owning a picture that you or I can find in two second by Googling, but Chloe’s isn’t the first meme to be floated as an NFT.
And the Clem family, from Utah, are hoping Side-Eye Chloe takes off to pay for the youngster’s future college tuition.
The Clems will auction off the image, starting bids at 5 Ethereum – the cryptocurrency NFTs operate as – which roughly equals $15,000 (£11,000).
After learning about NFTs, Mrs Clem said the decision to offer her daughter’s meme was a “no-brainer”.
“It’s a cool opportunity, especially if there’s a Chloe fan out there who loves this meme they’ll be able to own it. Even Chloe has said ‘that’s pretty cool’ – it’s a typical 10-year-old thing to say.
“Chloe is like, ‘I’d like to buy a horse, I’d like to build a Walt Disney World,’ but I’d just like to put her through college.”
Offering memes as NFTs means those featured in the image can make money from content that they didn’t anticipate blowing up.
The original video the Clems posted from their car, for example, has been viewed more than 20 million times, while the image has been shared many many millions of times more.
Now, the Clems can see some returns of its popularity by owning the image.
Other memes have already so raked in the cash after being made into NFTs.
Earlier this year, the woman featured in the Disaster Girl meme sold for $500,000 (£341,000). You might also be familiar with the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme, which sold as an NFT for for $411,000 (£300,878).
There’s a huge market for it, and if Chloe’s plan works, we’ll expect to see her sporting a rather more impressed face in the future.
10 famous memes and their predicted NFT value:
Slender Man: £849,401.61
Navy Seal Copypasta: £799,146.81
Lenny Seal: £742,475.24
Forever Alone: £693,656,41
Zerg Rush: £674,789.56
Me Gusta: £522,302.16
Flipping Tables: £336,145.31
Ugandan Knuckles: £316,807.84
* According to Eurotrader.
... and if you’re struggling to remember what these images are, you might need to visit Know Your Memes.