Recently, the following meme started circulating on social media that pokes fun at the inherent logic-impasse that exists between the atypical method used by the groom and the poetic representation on the card he is holding. Primarily focusing on the fact that using an oxygen tank is the exact contradiction to declaring "I can breathe without oxygen", the meme ridicules the apparent stupidity of the groom.
While it is harsh to call it stupid - in reality, the gesture is indeed quite novel and worthy of a marriage proposal, the irony of the statement he is holding to his situation of having to use underwater breathing equipment is just too good to leave un-ridiculed. Even I decided to capitalise on the momentum and highlight the need for people and business to invest in professional wordsmiths.
Interestingly though, this is the second iteration of a meme on this incident - an earlier version that plays on the same irony seems to have been circulated in 2014. One can only assume that the embarrassment of that news cycle sent the couple into hiding - the bride's Instagram account and Facebook profile appear to have been locked into privacy.
But running away and hiding is not the way forward - simply because 'comedy gold' like this will keep resurfacing. Instead, the strategy would be to 'own it' instead and laugh with the crowd rather than reinforce the fact that you've become the laughing stock.
Course of Action
For this case, my recommendation would be to turn the contradictory phrase "breathe without oxygen" as an inside joke or reference between the couple to refer to how the groom is able to stay underwater for long periods of time (albeit using underwater breathing equipment). Once the narrative is changed in such a way, the focus of the running joke is effectively voided and makes the irony less pronounced.
The next step would be to openly link this clarification to all instances of a related meme turning up so that whenever a web search is made, the results will invariably list that information as one of the results. The link to the new narrative can be in the form of a blogpost that can be updated with links to the different memes as they appear, or a Facebook or Twitter post referencing the latest meme and adding the context each time. In fact, turning the periodic web traffic that will occur to their advantage, the couple could use the strategy to draw attention to any business endeavour they might be involved in or simply discuss any particular advocacy they might be interested in.
In any case, the negative attention should be used to redefine a more robust - if not, positive - profile of themselves rather than the current state of proving the criticism by going underground. I've made attempts to touch base with the couple through the friend who first wrote about the proposal but unfortunately, I haven't heard back from them or the friend.
In today's digital highway, anything can go viral, and worse, even insignificant indiscretions can be repackaged to go viral. If you find yourself in such an enviable position, don't suffer in silence. Be empowered to control the situation to your advantage. Remember, while you can't control what the beast that is the internet will do, you can certainly exercise control on how badly this beast hurts you.
Reach out to me if you need help managing your social media presence.